Aquaponics technology ticks all the boxes
Aquaponics is an innovative, sustainable, environmentally friendly and scientifically proven food growing technology that is also commercially viable.<!--more-->
[caption id="attachment_3739" align="alignright" width="138" caption="Aquaponics can grow a wide range of vegetables, herbs and fruit. Seen here is one of the grow beds with cabbage and lettuce plants at the Cook Islands Aquaponics Project site. Photo: Dev Nadkarni"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/cabbage-n-lettuce-small.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-3739" title="cabbage n lettuce small" src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/cabbage-n-lettuce-small.jpg" alt="" width="138" height="104" /></a>[/caption]
Being a closed system, it releases no wastewater into the environment and any loss of water from the system by transpiration or evaporation can be topped with stored rainwater, thereby with no dependence on a piped water source. Plant nutrients come from fish, eliminating the need for fertilisers and sprays.
“Rarely do we find growing techniques that increase yield without having some negative impact such as increased land clearing or chemical use. None of this is the case with aquaponics,” says Dr Wilson Lennard, who has designed and built three aquaponics systems in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, to be formally inaugurated in the week of the Pacific Island Forum Summit next week.
The technique addresses soil erosion, freshwater shortage, productivity issues, environmental impact and tackles many of the existing biohazard issues within the Pacific’s agricultural export industry related to soil.
“Aquaponics uses no herbicides, pesticides or hormones and it utilises 100% of the nutrients added, which makes it exceptionally efficient,” Dr Lennard told <strong>Pacific Periscope</strong>.
Aquaponics addresses soil erosion, freshwater shortage, productivity issues, environmental impact and tackles many of the existing biohazard issues within the Pacific’s agricultural export industry related to soil.
Almost anything can grow in aquaponic systems. The technique is especially suited to high demand, fast-growing nutritional crops like herbs, leafy greens and fruiting plants.
Adam Denniss, PT&I Trade Commissioner, who has worked with Dr Lennard for two years to work on a Pacific-specific sustainable model says, “Show me a growing solution that improves yield without clearing more land, gives me a protein and vegetable crop, uses 90% less water is environmentally sustainable and economically viable whilst reducing the need for expensive fertilisers and I’m happy to look at it. Until then, I believe this may be a solution.”