Pacific’s first scientific aquaponics project to open at Forum meet


The region’s first scientifically designed aquaponics systems go on show in Rarotonga, to coincide with the Pacific Islands Forum Summit next week. <!--more-->

[caption id="attachment_3743" align="alignright" width="138" caption="Dr Wilson Lennard testing the pH of the water in the fish tanks at the Cook Islands Aquaponics Project this morning. Photo: Dev Nadkarni"]<a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-3743" title="Wilson-small" src="" alt="" width="138" height="104" /></a>[/caption]

Spearheaded by <strong>Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest</strong> (PT&amp;I) and supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme, a set of three aquaponics systems designed by scientist Wilson Lennard, PhD, will be formally inaugurated.

Aquaponics uses highly nutritious fish water that contains almost all of the required natural elements for optimum plant growth, therefore eliminating the need for chemical additives for growing the plants. Combining the best features of aquaculture and hydroponics, aquaponics addresses the region’s food growing challenges and the general food security situation more efficiently than any other agricultural method.

The basic science behind this technology is an effective balance of fish waste release to plant nutrient uptake. This unique knowledge, scientifically developed over seven years of research and field-testing, is being brought to the Pacific Islands region by Dr Lennard’s Aquaponics Systems and Adam Denniss, PT&amp;I’s Auckland based Trade Commissioner.

The Pacific is the first to see and use this leading research fine-tuned over 12 years. Dr Lennard is making available this unique knowledge, which forms the backbone of the efficient utilisation of the technology, to the people of the Pacific Islands region. This information has never been released to the general public before. The Pacific Islands region is the first.

Dr Lennard, who has designed and built the systems ground up all by himself camping in Rarotonga over the past four months, says the first crops are now ready for harvesting. A variety of vegetables, herbs and even tomatoes are at various stages of growth in the beds irrigated with nutrient rich water from the fish tanks linked to the grow beds with piping.

Trade Commissioner Adam Denniss and Dr Lennard have worked together for two years on the systems’ design to suit Pacific Island practicalities. Dr Lennard has already been assisting other Pacific regional organisations with their experiments in aquaponics with a view to taking this technology regionwide.

Pacific Periscope will profile the project in detail over the next several dispatches. Meanwhile, you can catch more of the action on PT&amp;I’s Pacific Aquaponics Project on PT&amp;I’s <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color: #0000ff; text-decoration: underline;"><a title="Pacific Islands Trade and Invest Facebook" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff; text-decoration: underline;">Facebook page.</span></a></span></span>