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Fishbox farming

Develop aquaponic systems in caldas to provide a sustainable source of food. The system produces fish and vegetables with minimal amount of land and farming inputs once established. The food then can be subscribed for by low income families giving them a balanced diet of vegetables and fish.

Photo of Dave Phillips
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Aquaponics is the symbiosis of aquaculture (process of growing aquatic animals)  with hydroponics (growing plants in water). Effluents which are toxic to the fish are filtered out and then fed as vital nutrients to the plants. 

The advantage of aquaponics is the ability to create a high out put system of produce with a relatively low input of resources therefore making it extremely efficient and sustainable.  

Im thinking the technology could be applied in two ways. The first is to give people micro loans to buy this equipment for themselves so that they can develop their own back garden fishbox farm. The second is to create a community fishbox farm which distributes to low income families. 

Advantages 
Sustainable source of food
90% of water is recycled 
fertillizer can be produced by vermiculture (chickens)
Low labor requirements
no input of fertilliser
Can be in production in 7 days to produce kale and collards 
3 to 5 weeks can produce melons, tomatoes, peppers ect

How do you envision this idea making money?

Aquaponics is a high output to low input farming system which is sustainable. Low income families can subscribe for the food and receive a varied amount of ingredients from these aquaponic systems. The system only requires a low capital cost and as the plants and fish grow the more diverse the ingredients people receive and more people can subscribe to the food. The profit from fishbox farm can finance another untill a network of them appear help solving malnutrition problems.

How does this idea create social impact, particularly around improving health?

It will give a balanced healthy diet of fish and vegetables and a low cost to the people.

How does this idea add social value at every step of the process?

Give a man a fish you have fed him for a day. Teach a man to fish you have fed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cultivate fish then fishing will be a hobby.

The aquaponic farms allow for a greater amount of food to be produced with a smaller amount of land to be cleared therefore helping to prevent mudslides.

The goal is to produce a large amount of food for people with a low income at a relatively low cost and be able to distribute it to low income families.

It gives people a healthy and well balanced diet and a variation of vegitables can be grown in the systems

What are the short term steps we could take to implement this idea tomorrow?

Establish a basic aquaponics system using a small pump, circuit board, a 12 volt battery and some rubber tubing. The system can be operational in 7 days to produce green vegetables. You can start this system off at any sized scale from just a basic aquaponics for the back garden to grow food for a whole family or to a commercial size to provide food for the whole community.

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Photo of Johan

Some additional ideas:
Why not build this in an empty state, A governmental, institution or commercial company pays for construction costs. (can even be subsidised with advertising space or similar)

and then local citizens can "rent" a desired amount of space in it, for a contract to pay a percentage of their yield or income retroactively, once they sold their crops and fish they have some money. For most effective system the users should be able to rent only square meter of plant-space if they feel incapable or not confident they can start to handle fish-farming.
However it would be easy to have a tutor onsite to educate anyone.

The company building and owning this have a supply of seeds and small fish that "users" buy, at a discount? To ensure quality and safety to prevent disease to the fish or the plants.

It is possible to build several layers of plant space on top of each others, in hanging construction, just make a schedule to move around the plants so all get equal sunlight and shade according to what yields the best result.