Declining water availability paired with limited access to commercially viable farmland are just a few of the challenges facing growers in Uganda. Additionally, the food system in the nation faces hurdles with a declining fish eating culture resulting from dwindling fish supply in lakes, high local and international demand, and high costs. Without access to protein-rich foods like fish, many Ugandans, especially children, cope with nutritional deficiencies.
Water Governance Institute’s Aquaponics system closes the loop between fish and horticultural crop farming to provide much needed nutritional supplements and alternative incomes to Ugandan citizens and farmers living in rural, urban or peri-urban household settings. The all-in-one system uses less water and allows for crop production and fish rearing at home.
How Does It Work?
The Aquaponics system is an integrated technology that involves growing crops like sweet pepper and tomatoes in a permeable tray. The tray is filled with a growth medium such as husks or loamy soil, and underneath is a water tank for rearing fish. Wastewater from the fish is routinely introduced to the growth medium via the tray through an irrigation process.
Organics in the water decompose, releasing nutrients that are taken in by the crop, making it a closed loop system. The water in the tanks is recycled several times, so less water is needed to rear the fish and to grow crops. With enough water, farmers and system owners can grow crops all year round. The system is low-cost, gender and disability friendly and yields high value, premium price produce.