[Letters] Insects are new growth engine of the future

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[Letters] Insects are new growth engine of the future

Lately, insects have been reevaluated as the last undeveloped biological resource remaining on earth. As attention on environmentally friendly farming increases and governments adopt policies to cut down pesticide use, farming with natural enemies has gotten the spotlight.

As urbanization and industrialization have taken away access to nature from city youth, insects have provided a hands-on learning experience. The Hampyeong Butterfly Festival and the Muju Firefly Festival are successful cases of education-themed tourism involving insects.

Insects often appear in commercials, animations and character products. Their value in pharmaceutical, environmental and technological development is tremendous. Substances extracted from insects are used in developing new drugs. Food waste processing that utilizes the high decomposition capacity of some insects has been proven to be effective. Endoscopy copies the movement of an inchworm, and the robo-roach takes a cue from the behavior of cockroaches. Insects are emerging as the heroes of the high added-value industries of the future.

Yecheon County established the Insect Institute in 1997 for the first time as a local government. From July 28 to August 19, the county is hosting the 2012 Insect Bio Expo. Hopefully, this expo will promote the insect industry as the new growth engine of the future.

* Jung Hae-young , director of the Yecheon Insect Institute.

* Letters and commentaries for publication should be addressed “Letters to the Editor.” E-mailed letters should be sent to eopinion@joongang.co.kr.

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