Seafood Of India

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Welcome to India's first Exclusive Seafood Portal

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Insect Revolution: Transforming Indian Aquaculture with Sustainable Feeds

India, with its diverse aquaculture practices, is at the forefront of a potential revolution in sustainable fish farming. Ankit Alok Bagaria, Co-founder of Loopworm, sheds light on the promising landscape of insect-based aquafeed ingredients and the profound impact it can have on India’s small-scale aquaculture producers.

Amidst challenges such as disease outbreaks, water pollution, and market demand fluctuations, the aquaculture sector in India seeks innovative solutions. Enter insects – a sustainable alternative source for aquafeed ingredients, including insect protein concentrate, insect meal, and insect fat oil.

India’s tropical climate and abundant food waste make it a prime candidate to lead the global insect feed industry. Insects, being natural food for fish and birds, offer enhanced palatability, superior digestibility, high protein content, and immunity-providing natural peptides. The incorporation of insect meal in compound feed can significantly boost overall productivity.

Shrimp farmer Bhargava, facing rising costs in conventional feeds, emphasizes the need for better quality feed to enhance palatability, immunity, and growth rates in shrimps. Traditional marine-based ingredients like fishmeal and krill meal face challenges, creating an opportunity for alternative ingredients such as insects to shine.

Loopworm’s success story illustrates the potential of insect farming in India. The startup, co-founded three and a half years ago, has not only ventured into black soldier fly larvae but expanded to include silkworms. With government grants and strategic investments, Loopworm now commercially supplies 100 tonnes of insect protein and insect fats per month, aiming to double this capacity.

The interview delves into the personal experiences of farmers like Kumar, who farms catla in Uttar Pradesh. Despite low investment in compound feed, he opts for cheaper alternatives like leftover food, fresh food waste, and pest-infested grains. Here lies the opportunity for small-scale farmers to integrate insect farming into aquaculture, ensuring better productivity and reduced feed costs.

The article highlights Loopworm’s collaboration with feed manufacturers, focusing on parameters beyond traditional feed conversion ratios. By prioritizing immunity, palatability, digestibility, and meat quality, Loopworm aims to bring tangible benefits to farmers like Bhargava, aligning with their productivity goals.

The journey of Loopworm, from stabilizing breeding processes to securing investments, showcases the transformative potential of insect farming. The article emphasizes the challenges, such as scaling up operations and ensuring quality control, while underscoring the promise of insect-based aquafeed in contributing to the sustainability, efficiency, and growth of the Indian aquaculture industry.

As India stands at the cusp of embracing insect-based feeds, the article prompts reflection on the challenges and opportunities, signaling a potential paradigm shift in the way aquaculture is approached and sustained in the country.

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