The Hopper Cage

A Grasshopper For All

The rearing of grasshoppers using a well equipped cage that allows environmental interaction to promote healthy growth.

Use Case

The Hopper Cage? Effective, Easy to use, Economical? Indeed. This cage is the best choice for all. For persons who are directly involved in catching grasshoppers and are dependent on conventional nets and a field of grasshoppers, Hopper Cage enables easier catching and rearing of their own grasshoppers under optimal conditions. For our end users whose optimal nutrition is of concern along with their accessibility and availability of food, the Hopper Cage allows self-sufficient production of grasshoppers that will meet their nutrient needs with excellent protein and necessary vitamins. It will be used by people whose culture involves eating grasshoppers. Also, it will be used by others who can easily adapt to the new food source. Hopper Cage is the solution.

Potential

The Hopper cage has the potential to be very innovative idea for future sustainability. The hopper cage although small has the ability to be in high demand. Retailers can purchase these cages to allow another form of nutrition for people and to sell to other linkage industries. The hopper cage is easy to craft, light weight .The row of solar powered LEDs allow for optimal living conditions for the grasshoppers and also provides a lasting power source. If the product is marketed to for instance the UN they can utilize this to allow farmers in those countries to have an easier way to breed grasshoppers. Since certain countries in Africa and Asia have already turned to grasshoppers as a protein source the market is in demand and can be easily capitalized.

Business Case

The business model of the concept is to create a large Hopper Cage that operates with a two-door mechanism containing an initial cage for the actual raring of the grasshoppers and a second cage for extraction when the grasshoppers have reached maturity. This allows us to rear grasshoppers on a large scale which can then be distributed to other businesses such as those in the culinary arts industry; it can be processed to obtain vital nutrients or to be incorporated into other food products to increase their protein content and nutritional value. We also provide the cage for farmers worldwide to produce grasshoppers efficiently and re-build the industry.

Objectives:

  1. To provide alternative source of protein and nutrients
  2. To provide and economically viable way to produce grasshoppers
  3. To promote sustainable food source for the future

Team AgriFeeders

St.Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

  • Other
  • Agricultural Production / Productivity
  • Africa

Our Team

Grasshopper Consumer 2 / Published December 13, 2014 by Christopher Bascombe

Grasshopper Consumer 2

http://www.sixfoods.com/#products

Here is another example of some of the ways we can market the grasshopper and get the protein and nutritional content to the world. This can be done through companies like Six Foods where they process crickets with flour to create cricket flour; where they produce edible meals like cookies and chirps. As Agrifeeders produce grasshoppers and sell the Hopper Cage, the grasshoppers from farmers and our company can be converted into by-products through companies like Six Foods and help diminish nutrition deficiencies.

Grasshopper Consumer / Published December 13, 2014 by Christopher Bascombe

Grasshopper Consumer

http://toloachenyc.com/media/toloache.html

The Mexican restaurant named Toloache in New York has been offering tacos that entail fried grasshoppers instead of fish or chicken. Reviews have shown that many people enjoy such a delicacy. This is one example of how the potential of the Hopper Cage can reach international boundaries through linkages

User Scene / Published December 13, 2014 by Christopher Bascombe

User Scene

The Hopper Cage provides side advantages for the user besides supplying an alternative protein source. We basically wanted to provide a system where the user can easily rear grasshoppers productively and sustainably without much cost and labor. Some of them are:

1) Economically viable system- Establishment and inputs of the Hopper Cage are very little since the cage operates by itself. Grasshoppers are fed through live grass and reproduce on their own. LED lights provide conditions for optimal growth. Occasionally, live grass may be needed if the live grasses are eaten away, or the cage can be moved to another location (feed costs mitigated).

2) Weed Control - Farmers can place several cages over their farm so grasshoppers can feed on weeds. Grasshoppers can known for eating a lot of grasses rapidly and can eliminate poisonous weeds.

3) Can host other insects - Since half of the world has turned to insects as food this concept can be also used for locusts and crickets and any other insects that feeds on grass as there are markets for these as well.

Marketing of Grasshoppers and The Hopper Cage / Published December 9, 2014 by Christopher Bascombe

Marketing of Grasshoppers and The Hopper Cage

http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3253e/i3253e.pdf

According to Food and Agriculture Organization there are markets for insects in the world today. Although it will require considerable convincing to reverse this mentality, it is not an impossible feat (Pliner and Salvy, 2006). Hence, the Hopper Cage not only provides an alternative protein source but to encourage the world in the consumption and rearing of insects. Other advantages of the Hopper Cage such as weed control and little to no input in actual rearing would motivate farmers to start production. Through the demand for exotic foods, by-products, medicinal benefits and pet food of the Western world, the commercialization of the Hopper Cage can be enhanced further.

Expert Feedback / Published October 31, 2014 by Ashley Hines

Expert Feedback

On our quest for expert feedback, we interacted with familiar faces. Consultation was undertaken with two lecturers at the University of the West Indies as well as the President of the Agribusiness Society (ABS) of the University.

1)Dr. Isaac, Lecturer from the Faculty of Food and Agriculture: "Rearing insects is a good idea. It hasn't been explored in this country but it's emerging in other countries. Insects are relatively high in protein so it's definitely a good venture to use it as food." In light of our design statement and ideas triggered concerning the need for high protein, this advice reassured us that we are heading in the right direction.

2)ABS President: He gave us feedback on the design of our desired testing equipment. He elaborated that while it is important to have the required insects, much research must be done to feed and take care of them properly. Furthermore, it was questioned, "How efficient is your system of collecting or catching them?"

3)During the ideate mode, the question was brought to our attention, "How might we find an equilibrium between the availability/accessibility of food and its nutrient content?" Having our users in mind and engaging in further discussion and sharing of ideas, we took another lecturer's advice into consideration. With his in depth knowledge of insects and food production, he shared that our users have high availability of the food source and should be able to access it. However, their lack of investment and awareness of it,adds to the disequilibrium with nutrient needs. It is important that AgriFeeders try to restore equilibrium as it is a highly prolific food source which can meet nutrient needs.

Our Mission

Our mission is to eradicate the current food crisis through new, innovative and underutilized methods.

Our Background

AgriFeeders consist of five undergraduate students with backgrounds ranging from science, agriculture, business and information technology. We are all united with the purpose of making the Caribbean region food secure. Through the uses of underutilized techniques and approaches such as entomophagy, we hope to create a unique and economically viable way for the average person to attain accessible and nutritious food at all times.

Grasshopper Consumer 2 / Published December 13, 2014 by Christopher Bascombe

Grasshopper Consumer 2

http://www.sixfoods.com/#products

Here is another example of some of the ways we can market the grasshopper and get the protein and nutritional content to the world. This can be done through companies like Six Foods where they process crickets with flour to create cricket flour; where they produce edible meals like cookies and chirps. As Agrifeeders produce grasshoppers and sell the Hopper Cage, the grasshoppers from farmers and our company can be converted into by-products through companies like Six Foods and help diminish nutrition deficiencies.

Grasshopper Consumer / Published December 13, 2014 by Christopher Bascombe

Grasshopper Consumer

http://toloachenyc.com/media/toloache.html

The Mexican restaurant named Toloache in New York has been offering tacos that entail fried grasshoppers instead of fish or chicken. Reviews have shown that many people enjoy such a delicacy. This is one example of how the potential of the Hopper Cage can reach international boundaries through linkages

User Scene / Published December 13, 2014 by Christopher Bascombe

User Scene

The Hopper Cage provides side advantages for the user besides supplying an alternative protein source. We basically wanted to provide a system where the user can easily rear grasshoppers productively and sustainably without much cost and labor. Some of them are:

1) Economically viable system- Establishment and inputs of the Hopper Cage are very little since the cage operates by itself. Grasshoppers are fed through live grass and reproduce on their own. LED lights provide conditions for optimal growth. Occasionally, live grass may be needed if the live grasses are eaten away, or the cage can be moved to another location (feed costs mitigated).

2) Weed Control - Farmers can place several cages over their farm so grasshoppers can feed on weeds. Grasshoppers can known for eating a lot of grasses rapidly and can eliminate poisonous weeds.

3) Can host other insects - Since half of the world has turned to insects as food this concept can be also used for locusts and crickets and any other insects that feeds on grass as there are markets for these as well.

Marketing of Grasshoppers and The Hopper Cage / Published December 9, 2014 by Christopher Bascombe

Marketing of Grasshoppers and The Hopper Cage

http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3253e/i3253e.pdf

According to Food and Agriculture Organization there are markets for insects in the world today. Although it will require considerable convincing to reverse this mentality, it is not an impossible feat (Pliner and Salvy, 2006). Hence, the Hopper Cage not only provides an alternative protein source but to encourage the world in the consumption and rearing of insects. Other advantages of the Hopper Cage such as weed control and little to no input in actual rearing would motivate farmers to start production. Through the demand for exotic foods, by-products, medicinal benefits and pet food of the Western world, the commercialization of the Hopper Cage can be enhanced further.

Expert Feedback / Published October 31, 2014 by Ashley Hines

Expert Feedback

On our quest for expert feedback, we interacted with familiar faces. Consultation was undertaken with two lecturers at the University of the West Indies as well as the President of the Agribusiness Society (ABS) of the University.

1)Dr. Isaac, Lecturer from the Faculty of Food and Agriculture: "Rearing insects is a good idea. It hasn't been explored in this country but it's emerging in other countries. Insects are relatively high in protein so it's definitely a good venture to use it as food." In light of our design statement and ideas triggered concerning the need for high protein, this advice reassured us that we are heading in the right direction.

2)ABS President: He gave us feedback on the design of our desired testing equipment. He elaborated that while it is important to have the required insects, much research must be done to feed and take care of them properly. Furthermore, it was questioned, "How efficient is your system of collecting or catching them?"

3)During the ideate mode, the question was brought to our attention, "How might we find an equilibrium between the availability/accessibility of food and its nutrient content?" Having our users in mind and engaging in further discussion and sharing of ideas, we took another lecturer's advice into consideration. With his in depth knowledge of insects and food production, he shared that our users have high availability of the food source and should be able to access it. However, their lack of investment and awareness of it,adds to the disequilibrium with nutrient needs. It is important that AgriFeeders try to restore equilibrium as it is a highly prolific food source which can meet nutrient needs.

Our Team

Our Mission

Our mission is to eradicate the current food crisis through new, innovative and underutilized methods.Read More

Our Background

AgriFeeders consist of five undergraduate students with backgrounds ranging from science, agriculture, business and information technology. We are all united with the purpose of making the Caribbean region ...Read More

The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.