A water savvy system that could help remote communities.
Aquaponics as such, has a great potential to be used in developing nations - not only as a commercial venture but as a mean to produce food for the population of these countries.
Aquaculture advocates also say it is sustainable and Eco-friendly. Water is a precious commodity in developing nations, and because the majority of the water used is recycled through the aquaponics system, significantly less water is consumed than in traditional agriculture. The possibilities are limitless
It could improve people in developing countries’ lives by increasing food security, employment opportunities and economic growth.
As nutrition is a key issue for developing nations, relying mainly on staple crops such as wheat and rice, the farmed fish could also provide a valuable source of protein. By building aquaponics systems in developing nations, there would be more food for the population, and it would be more nourishing as well as economically viable.
What are the weaknesses?
Systems management is one important factor making urban aquaponics a challenging method to implement and run. A standardization of training and practice around aquaponics would help communities keep their food production safe and sound. Aspects of the plants and fish cultivation must be learned and practiced to constantly improve production. From experience, once you remove the technical support of such a project, you basically sign its demise.
The energy needed to power such installation requires the farmer to have constant access to electricity and have developed knowledge on how to fail-safe the heart of the aquaponics system - the pump and run a solid back-up system.
The idea of urbanization of farming by definition brings the production close to the consumer. Therefore the farmer will face higher operational costs compared to his counterpart, the traditional soil farmer. The proximity to markets is a must.
Can aquaponics fix our food problem?
Despite these weaknesses, aquaponics is more cost-effective than traditional farming methods. Aquaponics generate enough return to justify the initial cost of the system (around $50,000 an acre). The system also generates more nutritious, high-protein foods, and produces more environmentally and economically sustainable food free of pesticides and herbicides and by being produced so close tot he consumer, an almost zero 'food-miles' carbon footprint.
The development of aquaponics farming in developing nations while also increasing the income of the farmer and improving the overall economy of the nation, while bring an abundance of quality food.
With the correct support structure aquaponics could provide huge opportunities for small, independent farmers. However, without ongoing support, these projects would be entirely unsustainable.
I am a French expat, married, dad of one, nature lover and firm believer of sustainable living. My background is leisure and tourism industry. I fell into aquaponics and now I am sharing with you my adventure.