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NTT East Corp. intends to collaborate with a new business to grow crickets for human consumption.
The company intends to breed crickets more effectively to fulfil rising demand by utilising its knowledge of communication technology and sensors. As a potential remedy for the world’s food crises, crickets have gained attention on a global scale.
At a facility in Chofu, Tokyo, NTT East will start conducting tests to improve cricket breeding as early as this month. It will work with Gryllus, a firm based in Naruto, Tokushima Prefecture, that makes edible bugs. A researcher from Tokushima University invented Gryllus, which converts crickets into powder for use in confections and other food items.
If housed at a temperature of about 30 C, crickets will normally achieve adulthood in about a month. Controlling the temperature is crucial for effective breeding since slower growth results from a cooler environment.
Gryllus maintains 400 rearing boxes with just two to three workers, and each box can hold 1,000 crickets. The rearing boxes are 50 cm square.
To boost productivity and efficiency, NTT East will be in charge of automating water changes and temperature controls. The business is experimenting with tank-based sockeye salmon farming and intends to leverage its “smart aquaculture” technology, which uses sensors to track water quality and temperature, for cricket farming as well.
By 2028, NTT East hopes to generate billions of yen in sales from its serious foray into the cricket market. Additionally, it is thinking about selling its production system.
The company intends to make use of its many offices and other facilities across the country to obtain enough space to properly breed crickets. It is thinking about utilising the reception desk spaces that were previously used to receive telephone or online applications. According to the business, many of these slots go unused because most paperwork can be filled online. By 2028, NTT East hopes to have 600 breeding sites.