What is aquaponics?
Aquaponics is one of the most sustainable forms of food production. It combines aquaculture (fish farming) with hydroponics (growing plants in water rather than soil) to harness a naturally-occurring ecosystem that produces clean, chemical-free food. What’s more, aquaponics can produce food up to three times faster and with 90% less water than soil-based agricultural methods.
Aquaponics is a closed-loop system, which means that the water is continuously cycled from fish to plants and back again. This supplies nutrient-rich water to the plants and clean water to the fish, which means stronger, healthier plants and a lot less aquarium maintenance!
Why should we care?
With the growing threat of food insecurity, even here in Scotland, it has never been more important to reconnect people with food production. And with more than 50% of the world’s populations now living in cities, we need growing solutions that can thrive in an urban environment. What’s more, aquaponics uses up to 90% less water than soil-based agriculture, which makes it a much more viable solution to food production in many low-water areas of the world. The more people who are using aquaponics and testing new methods, the faster the technology will develop so that people all over the world can benefit from it.
Apart from the opportunity to produce nutritious, clean food with less space and water, aquaponics is a great way of teaching about ecosystems and environmental issues. It’s an engaging process that brings food production to life, and presents a fun and valuable learning tool for people of all ages.