Aquaponics farming involves rearing of aquatic animals and growing plants in the same space. The system provides will go a long way to ensuring agricultural sustainability. It tends to maximize space and conserve water through recycling. Again reduces use of inorganic fertilizer promoting organic farming. Functionality of the system is; the fish provides organic manure to plants likewise the plants purifies water by removing the nutrients increasing oxygen concentration.
This new farming technique improves food security, offers job opportunities and new business venture. It provides a nutritious diet to the family while in large scale production becomes an income generating business. The whole system at large produces chemical and organic food products- chemical free.
To come up with an adequate aquaponic system one needs to have;
- A fish tank
- Water unit
- Growing bed
The design for aquaponics system therefore will use locally available materials. Quite easy to set up and implement it if you follow the aquaponics farming tips provided.
Advantage of aquaponics
- Water with fish excrete is the source of organic fertilizer offering necessary nutrients to ensure growth of the plants in the system.
- Ensure efficiency in water conservation especially in areas with limited supply of water.
- Less management is needed compared to other farming techniques and suitable for average homes in rural areas.
- Suitable in arid areas where agriculture is not supported due to soil and water as limiting factors.
- Very little land is required ensuring high yield production in terms of fish and plant produce.
- It takes 1 to 2 days to build an aquaponic system.
- When fish such as tilapia mostly reared in Kenya is stocked in the aquaponic system it will take 4-6 months to reach maturity thus ready for consumption. After harvesting introduce new stock.
Fish feeds on earthworms and other fish feeds the farmer may introduce. You may also feed them using fish fillets.
- Vegetables grown in bed include spinach, cabbage and fruits. They require minimal management. The maturity of vegetables is about four-five weeks and they are ready for market.
Depending on the scale used, fish and vegetable produce can be locally consumed and also used to generate profitable income for the farmer.
One must also ensure that the system meets the necessary requirements such as no growing exotic plants, optimum temperature and so on. The water quality is crucial knowing that any contamination will eventually kill the fish. Ensure minimal disturbance from both animals and children.
Indulging in this farming technique it will be a way of tackling the issue of food security, water conservation and use land maximally. Aquaponic farming goes hand in hand with embracing new technology and agribusiness practices. By adhering to the above aquaponics farming tips, be sure to earn a reasonable profit.