Aquaponics for improved food security and nutrition in Ethiopia
In the last two months, Bouke Kappers, a MSc-student of PPS has been involved in the start-up of an Aquaponics project in Awassa, Ethiopia. Aquaponics in short is the integration of fish and plant cultivation in which the wastewater from the fish tank provides nutrients to the plants. The plants take up most nutrients and the water returns to the fish tank purified and maintains a healthy environment for the fish.
This week we are starting to build eight small-scale systems (about 3x6meters) that can fit in most urban backyards. The systems will be build using a microfinance system that involves the local church/family of households. Overall, the project aims to stimulate entrepreneurship and improved nutrition.
The potential of aquaponics is high since the profit earned can easily double the income of most beneficiaries whose income is currently around 2-3$ per day. Apart from this, nutrition is improved since vegetables can be produced year round. Currently, most households struggle to pay the high market prices for vegetables during the long dry season.