$10,000 prize for insect-based animal feed business

Entobel Vietnam-based Entobel with the prize cheque at the Aquaculture Innovation Challenge (AIC) presentation

A startup which uses black soldier flies to produce fish feed and fertiliser has won a $10,000 prize for development.

Vietnam-based Entobel has been named the innovation with the most potential in the Aquaculture Innovation Challenge (AIC), a competition designed to encourage innovation in Vietnam's aquaculture sector.

The jury said that Entobel, which has been developing its business for four years, “has a really good business approach, has been proven to be successful in the world already and is part of the race for a sustainable protein supply.”

Food waste use

Entobel uses food industry waste as feed for the production of black soldier flies, a native insect throughout Vietnam.

These insects are then used to produce fish feed, as well as fertiliser.

Entobel has already met with investors, a move which, alongside the prize fund, is expected to help them scale up their business.

Speaking about the win, Gaetan Crielaard, representative of the Entobel team, said: “This will help us to run the pilot for a few more weeks or months, allowing me to focus more on investors to build this factory.”

Expansion

He explained that Entobel hoped to build an initial factory in South Vietnam, followed by more in North Vietnam, Southeast Asia, Africa and South America.

“We believe that what we have built here is really relevant for tropical countries,” he stressed.

Arie Veldhuizen, agricultural counsellor at Dutch Embassy, warned that the need for innovation in the aquaculture sector was clear. He said: “In 40 years we have 10 billion people in the world and we have to feed them. We can't do it the way that we do it now, we have to do it in a sustainable way… these kinds of initiative are really helping to get this done.”

AIC organisers, Seafood Trade Intelligence Portal, Solidaridad and Fresh Studio said they hoped the interest showed in companies taking part in the competition would generate new partnerships to strengthen Vietnam’s aquaculture sector.

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