Vietnamese start-up Cricket One Inc to represent Viet Nam at Future Food Asia event

Thursday, Apr 05, 2018 15:00

Nam Dang presented the model of raising crickets at the MATCh agritech demo day last month.— VNS Photo Minh Thu

Start-up company Cricket One Inc will represent Viet Nam at the Future Food Asia Award event on May 23 in Singapore with an initiative to farm crickets as a high-protein food source.

Cricket One Inc won top prize at the Mekong Agritech Accelerator (MATCh) programme. A total of 13 start-ups from the region, as well as international firms proposed agritech solutions at the Greater Mekong Subregion Leaders Summit in Ha Noi last month.

The insect farming industry is a promising form of sustainable food production. It not only requires a low water usage, but also low land use, feed use, and GHG emissions, according to Nam Dang, co-founder of Cricket One.

“We understand the struggle endured by poor farmers and we have committed to work together with them to improve their livelihood. We lease out the integrated container units so that farmers can utilise their agricultural by-products to grow crickets productively, and we can also teach them the best practices in farming crickets, using the most relevant technology.”

“We feed the crickets mainly on agricultural by-products in combination with other plants. By doing this we manage to achieve high quality, protein-rich finished products that meet the standard requirements of organic certification,” he said.

MATCh’s competitive application process sought to identify agricultural technologies and new business models with the potential to reshape agriculture towards sustainable and inclusive growth in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS). A total of 127 start-ups applied. The finalists were selected by a panel of agriculture and food industry experts as well as potential investors.

The finalists shared ideas relating to business development and technology with mentors, industry experts, and investors. They also attended a boot camp to improve and refine their business models, and to build their professional networks.

In the start-up division prizes were awarded to Cricket One from Viet Nam, and Kiu Myanmar and Tun Yat from Myanmar. Meanwhile in the Market Access division, the prizes went to AgUnity Pty Ltd from Australia, Verifik8/FairAgora Asia from Thailand and Enzootic Ltd from Israel – Hong Kong.

MATCh is the first accelerator for agritech startups in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Viet Nam. It is funded by the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and is co-organised by the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI), Future Food Asia, and the GMS Core Agriculture Support Program (CASP).

When asked about the MATCh participants, Dominic Mellor, of the ADB who heads up the MBI, said "We are extremely impressed with the innovations from the MATCh participants. MBI and our partners will work with the selected innovators and entrepreneurs on transforming the agricultural industry in the Mekong Region into a leading supplier of safe and nutritious food for all.” — VNS

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