The Insectta Team is driven by passion and the belief that young changemakers like us are making waves in the sustainability and biotech industry. Kai shares more in this feature by Clean and Green Singapore, part of the National Environmental Agency, Singapore
Let’s hear it for Kai-Ning, 27, the co-founder of Insectta ! Her company is Singapore’s first urban insect farm which upcycles up to eight tonnes of food waste per month, turning it into useful industrial biomaterials such as chitosan and melanin!
Growing up, Kai held a deep passion for recycling food waste. She used earthworms to turn vegetable scraps into compost at home. “I love earthworms,” she says, excitedly. While composting, she noticed tiny maggots crawling in the compost — which she later discovered were called Black Soldier Fly larvae.
This interest eventually led her to start Insectta with co-founder Phua Jun Wei in 2018. Today, Insectta is one of the forerunners of the Waste Valorisation industry — a process that involves turning discarded materials into valuable products. Her company recently won the inaugural NEA Food Resource Valorisation Merit Award in 2021.
She has high hopes for her fellow youth. She feels that her peers are more accepting of insect-derived, waste reduction solutions. “People’s mindsets are shifting,” she says. “I see a lot more schools educating children on the beneficial impact that insects have on our surroundings.”