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S. Korean insects industry grows 2% in 2020

South Korea's insect industry (Yonhap)
South Korea's insect industry (Yonhap)
South Korea's insects industry grew 2 percent in 2020 from a year earlier, data showed Sunday, amid growing popularity of insects-based foodstuffs.

The combined sales of local insect-related companies reached 41.4 billion won ($37.1 million) in 2020, up from 40.5 billion won a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Around half of them were used to produce insects-based foodstuffs for people, and 10 percent of them were raised as pets.

The number of businesses engaged in the insects industry reached 2,873 in 2020, up 13.3 percent from the previous year.

The data showed that white-spotted flower chafer beetles were the most popular species, with 1,242 companies raising them in 2020, followed by Japanese rhinoceros beetles, which were grown by 407 companies.

Other popular insects included crickets and mealworm beetles.

South Korea's insect industry employed 4,193 workers in 2020, up 16.2 percent from a year earlier, the data also showed. (Yonhap)