Insect farming could be an innovative way for farmers to utilise their space
With global pressure on food increasing, and more people turning to the ethically and environmentally-savvy option of vegetarianism, one company in Drenthe is trying to speed up the insect revolution.
In a small shed, owned by Han Hazekamp from Dalerveen, there are shelving units with black boxes up to the ceiling. In those bins thousands of mealworms swarm amongst sawdust, RTV Drenthe reports.
Hazekamp has been the meal worms for a number of years. Utilising his background as a mechanical engineer, he created the entire mini-ecosystem with his own hands. Hazekamp has paid as much attention as possible to sustainability; using ground source heating.
He sees opportunity in the scheme in particular for farmers who, due to the scaling down of their livestock sales, are left with empty sheds. Hazekamp says that it is well worth the investment to breed insects in: “you see that those entrepreneurs are looking for a different source of income. You can set up an insect farm on a small scale and you don’t need much manpower,” he explains.
Only a few companies in Drenthe are currently fully dedicated to this business, but that will soon change, thinks Hazekamp. “In three years, eating insects will be fully established,” he says. “It’s going very fast.”
“The great thing about insects is that they are very useful for animal feed, but also for human consumption. An insect is full of protein. I eat my mealworms regularly, but when I have a few tablespoons, I am full,” says Hazekamp.