Turkish insect farming entrepreneur meets market demand of cockroaches in Southern Turkey

World Yen Doran 23-Jan-2020
Caterpillar eats leaves on a tree in fruit farm orchard. © Olena Sakhnenko | Dreamstime.com

Turkey’s local entrepreneur Selami Gökgöl, successfully transformed his idea and venture of insect farming into a successful business in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya.

Gökgöl started operating insect farming about 17 years ago, along with his three friends. Today, he runs the business alone, since his partners left the industry for various reasons.

With the approval of the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, Gökgöl launched the farming business with best practise to supply high quality produce to local buyers.

Gökgöl’s insect farm produces 12 types of insects, including cockroaches, grasshoppers, crickets, mealworms and morio worms, produced in a hygienic environment.

His regular buyers most frequently work in zoos, pet shop stores, chicken farms, aquarium owners and amateur fishermen who use insects and worms as live feed.

His cockroaches are in high demand to meet the live feed needs of carnivores in the country’s domestic market. The farm produces about 3,000 cockroaches per month in an area of 100 square meters (around 1,077 square feet).

Gökgöl’s farm produces four varieties of cockroaches which find buyers in the domestic market starting from 0.45 Turkish liras (around $0.08) and varies up to 10 Turkish liras ($1.70), while the price of one kilogram (2.20 pounds) of mealworms reaches 90 Turkish liras ($15.20).

Madagascar [hissing] cockroach is quite popular among hobbyists who keep pets and on the other hand, being consumed as food by people in China, said Gökgöl.

Gökgöl committed himself and continuously develops his business to a more professional level every year.