Insect farm's cockroaches find buyers in Turkey's south
Turkey's local entrepreneur specialized in insect farming in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya produces cockroaches to meet the live feed needs of carnivores in the country's domestic market.
Selami Gökgöl told Anadolu Agency that he started insect farming 17 years ago along with his three friends, adding that nowadays he continues the business alone since his partners left the industry due to different reasons.
Noting that he launched the farming business with the approval of the agriculture and forestry ministry, Gökgöl said his farm produces 12 types of insects, including cockroaches, grasshoppers, crickets, mealworms and morio worms, which are being produced in a hygienic environment.
The entrepreneur said that the reproduction of insects is a costly process that requires lots of patience.
He also said that the insect and worm species are mostly demanded as a live feed from zoos, pet shop stores, chicken farms, aquarium owners and amateur fishermen.
Gökgöl said he produces four varieties of cockroaches, which find buyers in the domestic market starting from 0.45 Turkish liras (around $0.08) and varies up to 10 Turkish liras ($1.70), while the price of one kilogram (2.20 pounds) of mealworms reaches 90 Turkish liras ($15.20).
Pointing out that the cockroaches produced in his farm meet the high demand in the domestic market, Gökgöl said he produces about 3,000 cockroaches per month in an area of 100 square meters (around 1,077 square feet).
"The most expensive cockroach type is the Madagascar [hissing] cockroach, popularly known as the spy insect," he said, adding that this type of cockroach is high in protein, and needs around 9.5 months to grow up to a desirable size, which requires around nine Turkish liras ($1.52) of expenses on each insect.
He said that this variety of cockroaches are usually popular among hobbyists who keep pets, while it is being consumed as a food by people in China.
The entrepreneur also underlined he continuously develops his business to a more professional level every year.