Project Title: Aquaponics project
Promoting Commercial Aquaponics farming among smallholder farmers/households for water efficiency, food security and livelihoods Improvement.
Under the Water and Energy for Food programme , the project aims at promoting solar powered Aquaponics farming among farmers in Uganda for food security, livelihoods improvement and climate change resilience
Technical focus area
- Improving water efficiency and reusing wastewater
- Innovative water capture and storage
The project integrates fish rearing and horticultural crop farming in a closed-loop water recycling system referred to as Aquaponics farming. It is transformative in that it introduces integrated fish and horticultural crop farming to provide the much needed nutritional supplement and alternative incomes (if done commercially) in majority of the rural, urban or peri-urban household settings; It is a low-cost technology approach; it encourages rainwater harvesting and storage at the household level, which water can then be used for other domestic purposes and promotes water efficiency.
How the technology works
The technology involves growing horticultural crops such as sweet pepper, tomatoes, etc in a permeable 10-15cm deep tray filled with a growth medium e.g. husks or a loamy soil and rearing fish in a 1.0 cubic meter water tank below the tray. Fish waste water is routinely introduced via the tray through irrigation; organics in the water decompose releasing nutrients that are taken by the crop and some are used by the fish in the tank. Water from the tank is recycled into the tray daily at given rates. Additional water may be added to replace that lost via evapo- transpiration processes.
- Dwindling fish stocks in lakes; high local and international demand for fish that lakes cannot satisfy.
- Declining fish eating culture because of high fish costs.
- Increasing protein/ nutrient deficiencies in diets;
- Under – or un-employment or low incomes among housewives and youth
- Declining water availability with changing climate
- Limited access to commercially viable farming land
- It is a low-cost technology that enhances rainwater harvesting, storage and water use efficiency
- Can be done on small land e.g backyards and Produces high premium price horticultural crops
- Fishing culture: Fish is perceived to only grow naturally in lakes or rivers. This needs to be demystified by household fish farming;
- Limited access to water and high water tariffs.
This project is currently in its second year .It is being implemented in the four districts of Hoima, Adjumani, Kamuli and Kampala. These were selected on the basis of the criteria: experiencing fish scarcity, yet the the fish eating culture is well established; are key trading centers or situated along key trade routes; are affected by refugees/IDPs and their host communities; and are ranked high poverty areas.
Overall, we are positive about the results we have so far achieved in the first year period between November 2015 and November 2016.We are also positive about achieving our targets for year two of the project.