Insect economy is a rising trend related to protein self-sufficiency and more efficient resource use complying with the principles of sustainable food production development. The EU’s new food legislation facilitates selling novel foods in all of Europe, forming demand and a need for Finnish insect production as well.

The Institute of Bioeconomy selected black soldier flies to inhabit its insect farming container, as their hardiness makes them well-suited for the education and development environment for insect farming and breeding. Black soldier flies and their larvae are used to produce fodder for food production animals, for example.

“In Central Europe, products containing insects have already been available for a long time. Why should we not start farming insects locally for food production use as well? We have built an insect farming demonstration environment that showcases the inherent features of insect farming and can be used as a learning environment in insect farming,” says Project Manager Tiina Siimekselä from JAMK’s Institute of Bioeconomy.

“At the same time, we want to spread information about insect farming to interested entrepreneurs and those planning entrepreneurial activities.
The project involves charting effluents that are suitable for insect farming in the region, as well as businesses that could take part in building insect farming in the area. The results will be used to create a roadmap for the development of insect economy in the Viitasaari-Saarijärvi region.”

Next year, JAMK will launch a new insect farming study module, which will be implemented as open UAS studies. This makes it possible for everyone interested to take part in the studies.

“We want to be on top of trends and act as trendsetters in insect farming as well,” says Director Minna Lappalainen from the Institute of Bioeconomy.
The project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is administrated by VTT with JAMK’s Institute of Bioeconomy as a partner.