Growing Plants and Fish Side By Side – An Undiscovered Opportunity in Africa?

World Population And Food Security

The worldwide population growth, along with increased food intake and a greater need for animal proteins, implies that by 2050, there will be an approximately 60% increase in global meal demand. Simultaneously, environmental change, pressure upon water resources, bulk migration to metropolitan areas, and a rise in food utilization for fuel imply that food is constrained.

Food security is consequently topping the personal agenda globally, and several countries are seeking towards Africa to help fill the gap. Before this can occur, however, Africa has to address its very own US$35bn structural meals deficit, plus it’s approaching up with several revolutionary solutions.

Although food security may eventually be tackled using a number of different solutions, aquaponics is emerging as a great technology to get fresh, nutrient-rich food to city environments.

Aquaponics

Aquaponics is a closed-loop method whereby plants are usually grown in water, which the roots filter into a pool of fish, whose wastewater will be then pumped upwards to the plants being a source of nutrients. This is often accomplished at the small-scale, with personal aquaponics kits to supplement an individual’s diet regime through commercial aquaponics warehouses that can feed hundreds. There are numerous benefits of aquaponics over traditional farming strategies, such as efficient resource usage, particularly water, fertilizer, facilities, and land.

Since it is a closed circuit, aquaponics requires very little water and simply no plant fertilizers. The water is looped around in the particular system and simply requires occasional topping up. This is undoubtedly crucial in places where rain is minimal or perhaps unpredictable and is also a much more effective utilization of water as compared to traditional irrigation. This also prevents run-off and eutrophication of nearby water resources, as no fertilizer is added.

Read More: Why Technology Advancements Will Alter and Transform Africa’s Agricultural Economy In A Beneficial Way

Furthermore, fresh food may be grown in city environments, close to where individuals live, which means that the need for long-ranging roads and infrastructure is lowered, and the carbon footprint of the product is decreased. Therefore, aquaponics is a good way to grow plants and vegetables efficiently. 

There are, of course, the usual difficulties of implementing technologies in Africa. A trusted source of vitality is needed to be able to run the pumps, and training must be adequate to ensure that locals can handle and repair aquaponics systems once technological support has been withdrawn. Despite these challenges, aquaponics is looking like a feasible solution to dealing with some of Africa’s food security concerns. Pilots, as well as full-blown industrial farms, have already been set up in Uganda, Namibia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, along with many countries certain to follow.

Read More: The Role Of Hydroponics Farming In Africa’s Increased Food Security

Conclusion

Hydroponics, especially aquaponics, has emerged as a cost-effective and efficient way to grow plants. As more and more individuals are migrating into urban centres, Africa needs an approach to feed these growing populations sustainably. Aquaponics can help supply food security, and, due to its greater cost-effectiveness compared to traditional farming methods, and it may also create possibilities for financial development.

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