Here’s a farming technique that can be used as a food and water solution not just on Earth but in space as well.
Derived from an age-old technique, ‘Aquaponics’ is a portmanteau of Aquaculture (fish farming) and Hydroponics (soil-less farming) – a technology-infused symbiotic relationship between farming plants and fish within an enclosed ecosystem.
Along with some statistics on energy use, GHG emissions, freshwater consumption and the drawbacks of monocultural/ industrial agriculture we also learn of the operational experiences of a Dutch aquaponics farm and hear from a couple of experts in the field.
If by 2050, nearly 70% of the world’s population will be living in urban areas, we need to significantly alter how we source our food. There is already a global need to restore soil health, mitigate over-fishing, reduce use of fertilizers and pesticides, minimize food loss and food wastage, and reduce our carbon footprint.
The Dutch farm shows that with the capital investment, technical know-how and overhead costs for lighting, ventilating and pumping facilities, the sky is the limit!
Some immediate questions that arise are “is it feasible only for industrial level food production?” and “are there ways to this without as much spending?”
While sharing the benefits of aquaponics, the video also shares insights from the Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Germany and Bangladesh Agricultural University encouraging and emphasizing the significance of simpler small scale implementations, especially in developing nations.
What’s more, there are several do-it-yourself projects of all shapes and sizes, for the more hands-on among our Billionfarmers.