A small entrepreneur in Kyrgyztan, Adyl Gaparov has launched the country’s first cricket farm in Bishkek to produce high-protein insect flour and fried cricket snacks, with the aim of penetrating the lucrative neighbouring China market.
Presently, the cricket farm is small with capacity of only 1 tonne of crickets, which is insufficient to meet China’s demand. Gaparov said, “Our main business is producing cricket flour with high protein content, and our flour contains no less than 70% of protein and many micro and macro elements.”
To engage in serious commercial business with China, the farm needs to have the capacity to produce at least 5 tonnes in line with China’s minimum cargo shipment requirement. Gaparov is offering his cricket flour for only US$82 per kg. He said, “We are in talks with several companies that are looking to procure large quantities of powder – which we cannot produce at the moment – to make sports protein bars, for example, for athletes and for people trying to lose weight.”
Kyrgyzstan offers an ideal geography for cricket farming due to the country’s low humidity and stable temperature of above 30 degrees.
Gaparov added, “China consumes 30,000 tonnes of insects a year, but only produces 20,000 tonnes.” As such, China offers a huge export market to any domestic cricket manufacturer.