Eating Insects – New Proteins for Farm Animals


Researchers from Mali, West Africa and China, supported by the EU-funded project PROteINSECT (completed in 2016) and led by experts such as Dr. Marc Kenis from Switzerland, are collaborating to explore a sustainable approach to feeding livestock. They are optimizing the production of fly larvae as an alternative protein source. The aim is to enhance protein levels in animal feed, particularly in regions like Mali where poultry farming is prevalent but feed options are limited.
In China, chicken farmers are interested in using insects such as maggots and houseflies as animal feed. They breed fly larvae efficiently using organic waste such as poultry manure, creating a closed-loop system that converts animal waste into valuable protein-rich feed and fertilizer.

Farmers acknowledge the potential benefits, including better feed quality and lower costs. Insect protein shows promise in meeting the growing demand for sustainable animal feed worldwide, despite regulatory hurdles such as food safety concerns and legislative approval in Europe. in 2019 the FAO predicted that an increased demand for animal-sourced food will lead to an almost twofold increase in global livestock production by 2050, making this innovative practice all the more important. The use of insects presents a compelling solution for future agriculture. They offer cost-effectiveness, improved animal health, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional sources. This is because traditional feed ingredients are becoming increasingly costly and environmentally taxing.


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Video Eating Insects_TeaserChina

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