Insect farming and AI in pig breeding

The U.K’s government backed a project of a large-scale insect farming to make animal and pet food with 10 million pounds. The awarded company already makes its products out of black soldier flies fed on food waste. Now, they will open a factory that will process 33 000 tons of food waste yearly. That comes with a much smaller environmental footprint than traditional pet-food bases, like meat, soy, or fish. UK’s food suppliers were already testing the market for insect-based food for people.

Alibaba, a Chinese multinational technology company, plans to use artificial intelligence to raise pigs. That comes in line with China, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of pork, redefining the whole industry. The big-scale suppliers breed animals with much lower costs, making it economically unviable for smaller farms to compete. However, the big breeding operations are more likely to be drivers of disease transmission – an issue that will supposedly be resolved with the new, technology-based solutions like Alibaba’s ET Agricultural Brain. It will also raise the efficiency of production even higher, which may lower the prices and drive up demand. With the high-tech solutions comes the so-called fourth agricultural revolution.

As intensive farming grows, the chances of meeting the terms of the Paris agreement on climate decline, according to the study published in Nature science journal. It comes as a result of the rising emissions of nitrous oxide – currently 1,4% a year. It is given off by artificial fertilizers and animal manure and has a heating effect 300 times higher than the carbon dioxide.