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I agree. Many insects would benefit to be reared easily where it is much work to raise livestock. Such would be example of say Texas, where it is drought conditions much of the time. Money is wasted trying to grow crops and/or mammal livestock where grasshoppers flourish due to the climatic conditions, so they should rear grasshoppers instead.
You said it yourself. We can learn from the nature! Look at all the open desert area where little or nothing is done by humans but insects would flourish with little resources added. Being as I know little about insect rearing yet, like you say, horse sense prevails haha! It just makes sense to match species specific insect rearing ventures to climatic conditions in which nature already provides, so little cost as possible is added into the facility design, be it vertical or horizontal. We must work with nature to the best of our efforts.
Insects seem to do well on their own where natural conditions are to their benefit. It is those conditions I believe we should study, where a particular insect multiplies and grows well and take advantage of it to produce more of that same insect, without much addition as possible.
When nature provides an abundance of insects such as would be considered a plague to man upon croplands for example as the locust. Instead of chemical sprays or granular poisons or other eradication methods we should have teams of harvesters which go out and collect them for processing into usable proteins.
The large insect rearing facility for whatever species would be applicable, in my opinion, if it works with nature. There may be a few places where this can be of benefit without invading on or using agricultural space for crops but I have no way to know if it could be done on a scale for worldwide benefit.
It may be that individuals will have to come to the realization that some of their own living space is needed to provide for themselves. We humans have more usable space I think on the whole then we like to admit. It does not take much space in a dwelling for a small insect rearing design of vertical stacked trays such as I have done with mealworms and probably others have as well. We have yards, balconies, rooftops, places to hang cages from, etc.
I can ramble on with ideas without specifics forever. I'm not a scientist but more like a poor common sense problem solver, using what materials I can find locally at the least amount of cost possible to fill a desired goal. If I see a particular situation and learn of the factors involved needed to make it possible, then I would get a distinct vision of what to do. Sometimes it takes awhile for the pieces to come together.
I do not know much of what is in the world. Have lived in a small town all of my life. I do not know what is available everywhere but it all comes down I think to a basic principal I am forced to live by daily from necessity. Make the best of what you have been given, wherever you are. I see rearing insects as no different. Some insects will do well where I am and with what I have to work with, with little addition required, some will not. It is up to me to discover what will work is it not? Then I may be able to say to others in my particular area of the world that they can do this or that.
You are on a good path I think. Keep thinking and keep looking at nature for answers.
Good day my friend.