Research project Introsect: the introduction of insect rearing as an agricultural activity in the primary sector

Rearing insects

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Evelyne Delezie

Evelyne Delezie

Expert in small livestock husbandry


General introduction

Rearing insects is considered a new, challenging agricultural activity. But what is possible on an existing farm? Which insect thrives best in an existing space? What adjustments are needed and what difficulties are experienced with this type of husbandry? In this "Introsect" VLAIO-LA traject, partners Inagro, ILVO, VIVES, KULeuven / Thomas More and the National Experimental Gardens for Chicory try to answer these and other questions. During the project, farmers who are interested in a partial or complete switch to professional insect rearing will be guided during the effective start-up of this challenging activity.

Research approach

To achieve the overall goal, the project partners will use their knowledge and expertise to implement insect breeding as a new activity in the primary sector. Through advice and intensive support in rearing and marketing of insects via company-specific cases, 75 farms will have sufficient know-how and adapted infrastructure to end up rearing insects in a sustainable way after the end of the project.

Within the project a minimum of 15 farms will be intensively guided by the project partners to effectively implement insect rearing in their farm. With the help of these farms as a case study and based on advice, more farms (35) will implement on-farm insect farming. By effectively implementing insect rearing as an activity on the farm, these farms will also be able to process their own residual flows as feed for the insects and use the frass (= insect fertilizer), which can save on soil improvers.


The assisted farmers will be successful in rearing and marketing insects at the end of the project and are a first step for the introduction of insect rearing in the primary sector. Afterwards, the Introsect project will also ensure that farmers - insect farmers have sufficient know-how and adapted infrastructure if the market demand for insect protein increases. The project thereby creates new economic opportunities for the primary sector. By translating the project results into a feasibility tool that can be widely used, the project consortium also wants to reach other farms and convince them to switch to farming insects. With this tool, farmers can also check whether their farm is eligible for this new agricultural activity.