Entobel wins Aquaculture Innovation Challenge
Entobel, a firm that produces fish feed from insects fed with byproducts from Vietnam’s food industry, has won the first ever Aquaculture Innovation Challenge.
Supported by the Seafood Trade Intelligence Portal (STIP), Solidaridad, and Fresh Studio, with support from the governments of Vietnam and the Netherlands, as well as several banks and companies involved in the seafood trade in Vietnam, the competition was designed to encourage innovation in Vietnam’s aquaculture sector, and featured a cash prize of VND 250 million (USD 11,000, EUR 9,800).
Entobel uses food industry waste as feed for the production of black soldier flies – a native insect throughout Vietnam – which are then used to produce fish-feed as well as fertilizer.
“The plan is quite ambitious,” Entobel’s Gaetan Crielaard said. “While we want to start with one factory, the goal is to build more, first in South Vietnam, then the north, and then other tropical countries with a focus on Southeast Asia, but [eventually] Africa and South America. We believe that what we have built here is really relevant for tropical countries.”
Carl Richter, the consul general of the Dutch consulate in Ho Chi Minh, who participated in the judging, said the contest was designed to encourage public-private partnerships to jumpstart new solutions in aquaculture.
“This is basically what we do as governments,” Richter said. “We try to inspire and help start-ups, organizations that are run by young bright people to come up with new ideas and solutions for challenges.”
Dutch agricultural counselor Arie Veldhuizen, who also participated in the judging, said aquaculture needed to be encouraged globally due to the world’s ballooning population.
“In 40 years, we have 10 billion people in the world and we have to feed them. We can't do it the way that we do it now, we have to do it in a sustainable way,” Veldhuizen said.”These kinds of initiative are really helping to get this done
Nguyen van Khanh, from De Heus, one of the AIC’s core partners, commended the professionalism and organization of the AIC, saying that it allowed industry professionals and investors to choose from some of the best innovations to apply to aquaculture in Vietnam.
“[We hope] this interest grows into new partnerships that will shape and improve the aquaculture sector in Vietnam in the near future,” van Khanh said.