, Singapore
Photo by Saif Rahman on Unsplash

How insects could help feed 10 billion people by 2050

Singapore is a suitable launchpad for insect player to create insect-based diets.

With insects set to play an important role in the global food industry, Singapore has partnered with the Netherlands to help grow each other’s insect industry.

Through the Insect Industry Innovation Scan, a report jointly developed by Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) and Foodvalley Netherlands (Foodvalley NL), investors can understand the developments of the insect industry in Lion City and Europe.

According to EnterpiseSG, there is a need to source alternative, sustainable sources of protein to feed 10 billion by 2050 and insects could provide 15% of the additional protein needed.

“As a regional hub for R&D with a pro-business environment, Singapore is a suitable launchpad for local and European insect players to collaborate and create insect-based diets of the future. Farmed insects can be used for animal feed, organic fertilisers, or food for human consumption. 

"Lucrative biomaterials such as chitosan or melanin can also be extracted from insect shells for use in high-value industries like pharmaceuticals and electronics. There are significant growth opportunities for the insect industry as part of the broader agritech industry development in Singapore,” Eugene Toh, director for Agritech, EnterpriseSG said.

The local insect industry has gained significant traction amongst investors in the past four years, with approximately US$40m invested in insect companies.

Currently, there are 15 Singapore-based insect companies with business activities in over 10 countries, including startups such as Insectta, Nutrition Technologies and Protenga. 

These companies focus on developing insect protein as animal feed, producing snacks from edible insects, and a handful are developing proprietary methods to extract high-value biomaterials from insects.

“Global and local insect players can leverage Singapore’s strategic location and strong R&D capabilities to access opportunities in Asia. The Singapore agrifood tech startup ecosystem has seen vibrant growth, with the number of agri-food tech startups more than doubling in the last three years to 150 in 2021,” EnterpriseSG said.

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