Experts gather in Taiwan to discuss future of insect farming

Experts gather in Taiwan to discuss future of insect farming (Shutterstock)
Experts gather in Taiwan to discuss future of insect farming (Shutterstock)

TAIPEI (TVBS News)—The Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute under the Ministry of Agriculture hosted an international forum on Monday (June 24) to discuss the latest developments in insect farming. The forum highlighted insects as a promising, stable source of protein for human and animal consumption.

The institute's director, Lin Hsueh-shih (林學詩), emphasized that insect farming is more carbon-efficient than traditional animal farming, noting insects' rapid growth and reproductive rates.

The forum, co-hosted by the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Academia Sinica, and the Taiwan Entomological Society, invited experts from South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Germany to explore the diverse applications and latest advancements in insect farming.

Lin further elaborated that insects can breed on many agricultural residues, promoting circular agriculture. Taiwan's suitable environment for insect farming and its low water requirement make it a viable solution to climate change.

The institute has been assessing insects' potential as an alternative protein source since 2019 and formed a research team the following year to study their application in animal feed.

Hsieh Ting-fang (謝廷芳), the institute's secretary-general, added that mealworms and black soldier flies are suitable for use in animal feed protein supplements. Insects bred for consumption or feed supplements are usually raised in a controlled, enclosed environment, ensuring safety.

Hsieh pointed out that the European Union has approved mealworms as a legal feed additive. The purpose of the international forum held by the institute was to gather and discuss global trends in using edible insects more widely.

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