10 Steps to Starting a Lucrative Insect Farming Business in Africa
The insect farming business is highly sustainable due to its low environmental impact, accessibility, and excellent nutritional value.
While the notion of the insect farming business may sound absurd to most people, the market is expected to be worth $8 billion by 2030 (+24% CAGR). With the success of insect farming in countries like China, farmers African are venturing into this form of mini livestock farming.
Although insect farming is at its infancy stage in Africa, it is considered cost-effective, with over 850 farms in Africa. According to the UN, “crickets need six times less feed than cattle, four times less than sheep, and twice less than pigs and broiler chickens to produce the same amount of protein”.
Insects are seen as unsanitary, foreign, and unappealing. However, the food business has been transformed and gradually accepted by people through the inclusion of different insect products such as protein shakes, granola bars, cricket flour, and protein powder.
The insect farming business is also highly sustainable due to its low environmental impact, accessibility, and excellent nutritional value. Insects are well known for requiring less resources to farm, such as land and water, and for being able to transform low-quality organic waste into protein-rich end products appropriate for the animal and human nutrition.
Here are 10 steps to starting your own lucrative insect farming business in Africa.
1. Get the basics right
Before starting any business, it is essential to have the basic know-how. There are different reasons for farming insects, this will help you decide which niche is best for you. Insects can be raised for the commodities they generate, such as silk, honey, lac, or insect tea or food for humans and feed for animals.
2. Market research and feasibility studies
You need to conduct market research to ascertain the number of people patronising insect farms. According to a report, the market is neither gender nor age-specific, implying that the demographic makeup of an insect farm is diverse. If you want to establish your own insect farming business, the market knowledge will help you strategise your selling, buying and distributing patterns.
3. Choose your niche
There are different niches to consider if you want to establish an insect farming business. Also, the niche you select may be impacted by your region and the market accessible to you. Some niches are cockroach farming, cricket farming, and mealworm farming.
4. Know your major competitors in the business
There is no business without competition, therefore, there is the need for you to know your competitors. Your business location and the size of your farm will determine your competitors. You can maximise the information to ensure your costing and economic analysis is tailored towards generating profits and developing the business.
5. Choose between buying a franchise or starting from scratch
When it comes to deciding how to establish a business, there are no hard and fast rules. What should be your rules are your vision and mission statement. However, when it comes to starting an insert farming business, it is preferable to start from scratch.
This is because the business is cost-effective and sustainable. Most of the renowned insect farms started from scratch. To be successful, all you need is to be dedicated, hardworking, and determined.
6. Identify the threats and challenges
Some of the challenges you might encounter are the lack of awareness, psychological and ethical barriers, and allergies due to insect consumption, as these are the key factors limiting the market’s growth.
One of the challenges is also the competition from other insect farmers. To overcome this, the best option is to create your market focus on smaller enterprises that require a consistent supply of live insects, processed insects, and animal feeds.
7. Select the Most Appropriate Legal Entity
You can choose between forming a general partnership, a limited liability corporation, or a sole proprietorship. For a small-scale insect business, a sole proprietorship is the best option. However, if your goal is to expand the firm and establish insect farm chains across the country, you can form a limited liability company (LLC) or even a general partnership.
8. Choose a creative Business Name
You need to be creative with naming your business. This is because the name you pick will go a long way toward establishing an impression of what the company represents.
9. Select the best Insurance Policies
You can’t run a business in any country without having some of the fundamental insurance policies needed in the industry. As a result, it is essential to establish an insurance budget and, if necessary, engage an insurance broker to assist you in selecting the most appropriate insurance coverage for your company.
10. Have Professional Certification
Professional certification is one of the key reasons some insect farmers are unique. If you want to build a name for yourself in the insect business, you need to obtain all of the necessary certifications in your field of expertise. This is because it verifies your ability and demonstrates that you are highly competent, dedicated to your profession, and current in this competitive industry.
READ ALSO: Why Insect Farming may be the Next Big Deal
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