News ID: 275886
Published: 1119 GMT October 25, 2020

French start-up Ynsect raises $224m to build world's biggest bug farm

French start-up Ynsect raises $224m to build world's biggest bug farm
SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

A French start-up has come up with a solution to solve the rising global demand for food and the lack of land by building an indoor insect farm.

The start-up raised the funds to build its second indoor farm from investors including Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr.s Footprint Coalition, according to Reuters.

So far, Ynsect has raised $224 million (£172 million) this month to build the world's biggest bug farm in Amiens in northern France.

It plans to use the raised capital to breed mealworms that produce proteins for livestock, pet food and fertilizers.

The 40-meter-tall plant spread over 40,000 square meters is planning to open in early 2022. Ynsect will produce 100,000 tons of insect products such as flour and oil annually and conserve land use.

The move will create 500 jobs.

The farm will be the highest vertical farm in the world and the first carbon-negative vertical farm in the world,” Ynsect CEO and cofounder Antoine Hubert told Reuters.

Speaking at Ynsects first factory, which it opened in Dole, eastern France in 2016, Hubert said: Its important to develop insect sectors today because the world needs more proteins, more food, more feed to feed the animals that will eventually make meat and fish. But beyond this, obviously, human food is a market.”

With the global population predicted to reach 10 billion by 2050 and arable land per person expected to shrink to just 1,800 square meters by 2025, it is no surprise that many companies are looking at sustainable ways to meet demand.

Earlier this month a World Resources Institute analysis of the UNs Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that demand for some meat products is expected to rise as much as 88% by 2050.

While global hunger continues to rise, FAO estimates that coronavirus-related hunger could affect an additional 132 million people.

Our future food systems need to provide affordable and healthy diets for all and decent livelihoods for food system workers, while preserving natural resources and biodiversity and tackling challenges such as climate change,” FAO said.

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