The First Steps to Food Security

The following extract about Aquaponics submitted by Ready done
 Innovation Adoption Lifecycle - Wikipedia

Innovation Adoption Lifecycle – Wikipedia

Aquaponic farming dates back to the Aztecs but due to the currently available combination of cheap plastics and Magnetic drive pumps it was recently re-discovered and improved upon as a viable organic farming method. The system is designed to hold fresh water fish in tanks, in conjunction with plants in large plant pots. Fast draining Coconut fibre is used as an alternative to soil for when the fish’s water is pumped through the plant pots. The coconut fibre act like a battery holding the manure as the plant’s roots uses it yet it constantly re-charges from the fresh fish waste in the water stream as it passes through. The raw fish waste is converted by natural bacterial process that results in completely fertilized plants and clean water for fish.

Our mission is to bring aquaponics to the masses, to have AP systems as common place as the refrigerator, which, though it seems far fetch at this time is possible because AP produces food while a fridge only stores it. Ongoing efforts to get households growing food using aquaponics has allowed us to position ourselves as market leaders in the small but rapidly growing Aquaponics community on the island. We have acquired an intimate knowledge of what the industry requires and are seeing a dramatic increase of interest in the system by vastly diverse groups of people.

Aquaponics is the next major step for the home owner, it makes growing high energy plants like fruits or vegetables as easy as growing the popular low maintenance, low energy potted plants normally grown for flowers. Ap is the modern kitchen garden, It is organic yet has no smell or sounds and fish being cold blooded do not harbour the harmful pathogens that sometimes transfer to us from warm blooded mammals (bird flu, mad cow). Fish also need very little care when compared to terrestrial animals and these qualities are what make AP very attractive to homeowners.

However Understanding the Complex Organic processes involved in aquaponics is too time consuming for a busy home owner. This is the first hurdle to overcome in order to start a thriving AP industry, we have packaged this information in book form so that the individuals can readily understand and subsequently form their own support networks to help each other. With a large enough bases of people that understand the concepts involved AP can quickly gain mainstream acceptance.

Technology adoption lifecycle.

Because the AP concept is so new, and disruptive, it is difficult to define and measure the full end market. But the way to develop any market is best represented by the “technology adoption lifecycle” or “Rogers bell curve” popularised by Everett Rogers at Iowa state University. The object is to work the curve left to right, focusing first on the innovators, growing that market, then moving on to the early majority, growing that market, and so on… In this effort, companies must use each ‘captured’ group as a reference base for going on to market to the next group. Thus, the endorsement of innovators becomes an important tool for developing a credible pitch to the early adopters and so on.

Our information is catered for the innovators in Barbados; these persons are already into substantial fish keeping wither it be hobby fish or fish for sale in the aquarium trade, these men know the difficulties with conventional fish rearing and gladly accept the reality of turning what used to be excesses work into a secondary income and if possible to do aquaponics full time. These innovators are in need of the location specific information to convert their existing koi ponds into aquaponics, and will do so because aquaponics is an “additive” technology to them. But because every koi pond is unique, for BVAA to attempt to convert each individually will take far too much time. Innovators are “Do It Yourself” in nature therefore all that is necessary is to get the information to them, the actual design and building of the grow beds should ultimately be left to the individual.

So we are asking you the reader to do your small but important part in starting the process of converting Barbados into a food secure nation. Lets get this information out there, you know the people that are interested in fish, fish farming and agriculture in general, so help us get this information to those persons you know would be interested in aquaponics by sending them a link to our Facebook page lets start to build a network and learn from each other. Lets take those first steps towards food security.

52 thoughts on “The First Steps to Food Security

  1. Hi Kevin Watson nice to see someone besides myself pushing Aquaponics, since I started in 2002 I have acquired some followers and stuff, I noticed your above link to your face book page, can you please tell us some more rather than put up a link to a page you havent updated for the year. Don’t read me wrong but if your going to be pushing AP in Barbados you will have to do better than that.

    How long you been growing using AP?
    What crops have you been growing?
    What have you actually done in the world of AP?

    • Instead of local media repeatedly asking Minister Estwick about his UAE proposal why not tag it with the issue of food security for Barbados which should be a national priority. Also what is the position of the Opposition on this matter.

  2. Great article, Ready Done. Here’s a neat little hydroponic system that’s easy to build and requires almost no space to set up.

  3. Hi bently we have found these type systems are best as learning tools, not really practical in the long run as a system like this needs attention daily, our you can leave unattended for weeks. If you want to see Aquaponics that is catered to Barbados and will make a large dent in your supermarket bill and all you have to do is feed the fish, check out my fb page

  4. Aquaponics is good for Barbados.

    It presents an opportunity to utilize areas where the soil is not good for growing food crops.

    I wish farmers like Ready Done much success.

    Hydroponic and aquaculture farming combined with traditional farming can change Barbados to a food secure country.

  5. RD…Glad to hear that the Baird’s village project has restarted.

    We are in need of a revival of groups like the 4-H,young farmers,Junior Achievement,Farmers International within communities and not schools.

    In my day the most diverse and hands on 4-H club was in the Deacons community.

  6. Young people need to be taught the “business” of farming.

    I have proven that farming is a viable business in Barbados.

    My late father was a farmer and had he not preferred the independence and solitude of doing things his way, could have been more financially successful.

    The hardships people are experiencing now may force some to plant “kitchen garden” and their children can learn the basics.

    There is hope.

  7. Hants | March 28, 2014 at 1:08 PM |

    Young people need to be taught the “business” of farming.

    I have proven that farming is a viable business in Barbados.

    Never a truer statement made and has ever been so….unfortunately praedial larceny and a lack of a central collecting agency as had existed in 70’s are such a hindrance as to make it difficult and when you add the merchant lobby and the lack of tax incentives for farmers…you will be forever doomed to marginal profits.

  8. Public Notice in Sunday Sun of March 23 2014. Invitation for interested persons to participate in the planning process for the Community Plan for St. David’s, Christ Church to Six Cross Roads.
    Location is St. Patricks Church Hall, Ch. Ch @ 6 pm.
    Hundreds of acres of prime agricultural land being proposed for development.

  9. Hants

    Teaching the young people the viable business of farming is a great idea. But we have to be realistic as well because if the people find that it cost them an arm and a leg, sweat and tears to plant a kitchen garden as you called it. You would never get these young folk out there in the hot Caribbean sun, subjecting themselves to a darker tone of skin for a few vegetables. When it is cheaper to buy them rather than expend their time on energy on this endeavor in our modern day and time. An incentive has to be encourage in order to generate the much need interest of these young people, respect to this ancient practice of farming.

    • You know we have become a truly ignorant, and visionless people, when some advocate for incentives to be given to Barbadians to ensure THEIR survival.

    • @Vincent

      Submitted on 2014/03/29 at 4:25 AM


      Teaching the young people the viable business of farming is a great idea. But we have to be realistic as well because if the people find that it cost them an arm and a leg, sweat and tears to plant a kitchen garden as you called it. You would never get these young folk out there in the hot Caribbean sun, subjecting themselves to a darker tone of skin for a few vegetables. When it is cheaper to buy them rather than expend their time on energy on this endeavor

      in our modern day and time. An incentive has to be encourage in order to generate the much need interest of these young people, respect to this ancient practice of farming.

  10. And there is no such thing as food security given the nature of these unprecedent disasters in our modern age. ( the earthquake in Haiti as well as the volcanic eruption in Monstserrat, should have taught us this hard life lesson) Yes, I agree that we must encourage self- reliance but with a strong emphasis on interdependence. Because let face it: no man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent; part of the main. Moreover, we should be more concern about Who will have our BACK when the relentless hands of NATURE decides to pay us a visit?

  11. You know we have become a truly ignorant, and visionless people, when some advocate for incentives to be given to Barbadians to ensure THEIR survival.

    David…..where was that said?

    • Focus on improving food security


      By Marsha Gittens

      Historian, Dr. Henderson Carter, has made the suggestion that efforts to reduce Barbados’ dependence on foreign imports must be part of the national objective of the island for the next 30 years.

      According to him, doing this will see the nation save money, among other things.

      “That will give us better food security and that will help us in time of war. I have shown throughout the lecture that at various points in 1776, 1863, we were under pressure and of course in the 1930s during the World War, we were under pressure because of that dependence on foreign goods and God knows when another war will come, we must be able to eat. If we do not put some mechanisms in place, we will be in trouble.”

      Dr. Carter was at the time delivering a lecture on the topic, “Land Use in Historical Perspective: How and Why an Export Staple Dominated”. Through his presentation, he dealt with the 300-year period in Barbadian history from 1660 to about 1960 in which sugar dominated all other crops and he sought to give reasons why it dominated and the impact of its dominance.

      One of the points he made in the lecture was that sugar created wealth for a few and led to an almost chronic dependence on foreign imports.

      Meantime, responding to a question posed, he pointed out that a major focus has to be placed on the importance of the rum industry of Barbados to the economy.

      “I don’t think that we recognise as a people how important that industry is and I think we ought to strengthen it. I think we ought to be in a position to strengthen that in terms of our production and even our imports of molasses and of course our marketing of the product.”

      During an interview on the sidelines of the event, he added that the local sugar industry “ought to be reformed”, noting that it should be used “in such a way that we get ethanol from it”. He also said we ought to reconsider a previously suggested Commission with regards to producing refined sugars.

  12. Vincent Haynes

    Vincent, we’re talking about the young people with respect to farming and not the older heads right? So what part of Hants’ statement do you not understand?
    Listen! I have four young kids of my own and I’ve had great difficulty convincing them about importance of brushing they teeth in the morning. So how I am going to convince them that farming is important to their very survival without offering an incentive to initial some kind of action on the part of these entitlement kids. Don’t you know that we’re now raising a group of kids who have been taught the four important R’s which have been impressed upon previous generations: RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY, RESULTS and REWARDS. And we have but ourselves to blame because we’re now raising a group of entitlement kids who thinks that everything should given to them without effort.

  13. @ Dompey
    ….man try and put some lashes in the children’s asses and let them know which God they serving do…. Yuh going let then grow up so ….and then the police gotta put some lead in their asses instead…?
    OH WAIT!!!!
    …you live in the U.S. of A nuh..? You can’t even look at them little tykes too hard – or your ass in jail…..? 🙂
    Ha Ha …..wunna people bewitched hear!!!!

  14. The first step to food security is making sure that too much of your prime agricultural is not lost to development. One it is developed it is gone.

    I hope some of you BU contributors can get out of your armchairs and off of BU long enough to participate in the town hall style meeting for the planning process for the Community Plan for St. David’s, Christ Church to Six Cross Roads @ St. Patricks Church Hall, Ch. Ch @ 6 pm on Monday March 31. The Chief Town Planner says he has received applications to develop over 400 acres of prime agricultural land in this area.

  15. What is sad about this food security issue is that Barbados has a whole set of people with Phd in its Ministry of Agriculture but most of them lend nothing to the science of agriculture. Food science has gone way beyond just planting; we need to manipulate genes, create our own species, package and export from Barbados, create the environment to penetrate the markets in the developed world. Our agriculture people seem only to value trips to seminars.

  16. Lots of good comments comeing out of this!

    If the MOA was to fix agriculture in Barbados it would of allready.

    The incentive to young one is to use science to remove much of the labour and tans we get in the feilds.

  17. Both Nation (Sunday Sun) and Advocate of March 30, 2014 report comments by James Paul (BAS) and Dr. Karl Watson of Barbados National Trust speaking out against the application for subdivision and development of the prime agricultural land between St. David’s, Christ Church to Six Cross Roads.

    • @Nostradamus

      Has public advocacy made a difference in the past?

      Like the previous government this one seems to be making decisions without considering a relevant land use policy.

  18. @David
    Two instances come to mind where public advocacy made a difference in the past. One was public opposition to the proposed development at Chancery Lane Wetland and the other was the proposal to develop government owned agricultural land at Graeme Hall for a waterpark.

    As far as I know neither of these proposals were given planning permission.

  19. @Vincent Haynes
    That the 2 developments mentioned were not approved for development or that it wasn’t public advocacy that made the difference but some other reason(s).

  20. @ Vincent Haynes
    Ok so let’s take one at a time and the Water Park first. If public advocacy wasn’t the main factor in it not getting approved what were the factors?

  21. Nostradamus |….

    Sorry….I have no emperical evidence on neither issue….nor do I believe in hearsay….I simply indicated that I am not convinced that it was public advocacy.

  22. @Vincent Haynes

    Fair enough. Lets hear what David thinks about the 2 examples of public advocacy given.

  23. @David

    Agreed if the point you are making is that Allard/Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and citizens advocated against the water park. I recall that the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Environment were also against it. So it seems that advocacy by all stakeholder, private sector, public sector and citizens, worked in that instance despite what the naysayers had to say.

    What about Chancery Lane? Didn’t strong advocacy by citizens, Barbados National Trust,UWI etc contribute significantly to having the planning application denied?

  24. @ David
    If by a “done deal” you mean application denied by Minister I am fairly sure it is. I think the Town Hall meeting to discuss the EIA was March 2010. This is March 2014.

  25. The latest report presented to the UN on climate change has warned the world, especially SIDS like Barbados, of a pending crisis primarily in the area of food security.

    We shall see how backward thinking the local policymakers are by behaving like the proverbial ostrich burying their heads in the sand of myopic stupidity as they continue to take good arable land out of cultivation to build concrete jungles thereby condemning future generations to a bleak future of possible starvation when international food stocks come under severe pressure.

    What would that large increase in population size proposed by Ronal Jones (a man of supreme paradox to his ministerial portfolio) feed on when leisure travel to exotic tropical locations becomes a much reduced economic activity as a result of the environmental impact on coastlines from rising sea levels?

    Reduced forex from tourism means less food can be imported with more hungry mouths to feed.

  26. @millertheanunnaki,

    Saw that on TV today. I have been an advocate of food security for a very long time.

    Bajan politicians and leaders need to understand that if there is a serious shortage of food the big countries have the buying power.

    Guyana would sell every grain of rice for US or Canadian dollars.

  27. Miller

    The infinitesimal island of Barbados can’t even defend itself against an internal foe, far less more an external one and you’re preoccupied with food security as an issue of concern. But don’t worry yourself brother because the corrupted America shall come to your aid. And moreover, Barbados being a dot on the world map is of no strategic importance but in the minds of those persons who reside on the island of course, need not fear.

  28. @ David | March 31, 2014 at 5:00 PM |

    Here is a ‘plagiarized’ version of policy that should be implemented tout de suite; although not a word of this most important topic discussed in the last Estimates debate:

    “As greater emphasis was placed on the transition of Barbados into a service economy over the 1994 to 2008 period, Barbados became an even more heavily food import dependent country.
    The food import bill averaged approximately BDS$560.00 million
    during the last five years.

    A new [“Democratically”} elected ‘Labour’ Party Administration is committed to the sustained expansion of production in key areas of food production.
    A target of a ten percent (10.0%) increase in food production during the next five years will be set.
    In addition, a reduction of the food import bill by at least 25% over the next five years will be pursued. A key element in achieving this will be the modernization of Agriculture and Fisheries to take advantage of the latest technology, which will enhance the productivity of the sector and increase its attractiveness to young persons.”

  29. Mill

    If you could import a commodity at a cheaper price from abroad. Why produce it as an exorbitant cost at home? And have you given any thought to the quality of the commodities that are being produced locally? I’ve seen the quality of the pineapple being produce locally, on this side of the river. And it ain’t good!

    • Thanks Miller, it is good that there is space allocated to consider food production. Now if we arw able to execute.

  30. Mill

    Instead of worrying about food shortage, you should be focusing on the possibility of the bottom of the ocean unleashing one COLOSSAL- FART that wipes out the islands of the Caribbean as we understand them to be.

  31. Good morning Sargeant….
    Shiite boss, those “predictions” by our leading scientists sound as dire as some well documented BIBLE predictions made centuries ago…. Hmmmmm

    Mind you don’t go and scare all the optimists like BU David and confuse all the non-believers now…

    Bushie has been suggesting that wunna people stop worrying bout building up treasures on this DYING planet and look beyond this temporary project…..wunna mind the Anunnaki who done know the status of things

  32. When you read the report below in the Barbados Advocate Business Monday edition of 3/31/2014 one has to wonder if this Government is serious about agriculture.

    DIRECTOR of Barbados Farms Limited, Edward Clarke, is at his wits end after going through all the correct channels, and has yet to see action, or furthermore even a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, to discuss concerns pertaining to the sector, such as the $270 million dollar sugar cane industry project.
    He voiced his concerns to the media at the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) luncheon last week at the Hilton, where he indicated that this is the final resort to speak out to the media about the challenges impeding the industry.
    That challenge is communication.
    Barbados Farms Limited is a member of the Barbados Sugar Industry Limited. It is responsible for about 15 per cent of the island’s sugar production.
    “It is time the Minister of Agriculture meets with the private sugar farmers, and from there on we can discuss the next step,” he suggested.
    “We have done everything the right way, followed all protocols, went through the channels and we have not been successful. We tried to speak with the Minister of Agriculture up to February. We have been trying to meet the Minister of Agriculture for well over a year, and yet he refuses to speak with us,” Clarke went on.
    Stating that the sugar industry is in dire straits, the BFL official said that with the major sugar project that is ongoing, the private industry has been trying for well over a year to get details on the new project.
    “We have been trying to meet with the Minister of Agriculture to understand the new project and the role the private farmers will play in the new project without success. Something needs to happen,” he pointed out.
    According to him, “You cannot have somebody who contributes 60 per cent of the raw material input into the manufacturing industry, which is the sugar industry, and not be involved with what is going on in the future of the industry – it just cannot happen.”

    Nothing in place
    He further said, “You are asking for problems. You don’t come after the fact and then involve the major players in anything – it is not the right thing to do in business. You involve the players upfront and get their input and we all try to understand how to work together to make it a success.”
    “We are asking them to meet with the private farmers, (Barbados Sugar) Industries Limited and explain what is going on in the future of the industry, and get their involvement and participation in that project going forward.”
    The BFL Manager stated that they had heard the high level announcements for the US$270 million plant.
    “The Japanese are funding it. The river tamarind, as part of the raw material, the sugar farmers are going to produce up to 250 000 tonnes of cane – that is the involvement we have had,” he said.
    In terms of the sugar project, Clarke believes it is possible with a lot of hard work, planning and money, but that is not in place now.
    “What is required is funding [and] commitment from the Government that they would give a long-term pricing contract to farmers to be able to fund the growth of sugar cane for the future.”
    Clarke said they need to understand how the new factory will work , how the raw material outside of the sugar cane will be harvested and who is going to have all the input cost to deal with .
    “That, we do not understand – that aspect of the project – and that is one of the major projects the government is discussing .”
    He argued, “The time has come, we all have to stand up, and I hope we can get some action in Barbados.”
    Another leading businessman, Ralph ‘Bizzy’ Williams, at the same event, said the private sector does not have any unity and this too needs to change. (NB)

  33. Why produce a commodity at an exorbitant price at home. When we could quite possibly, import it at a cheaper cost from aboard?

    Well, Martin Wolf the author of the book Globalization Works argues that: cheaper imports of clothing from China replace production in the European Union or the US. This he argues: releases EU and US workers and so lowers inflationary pressure, which should allow the European Central Bank or the Federal Reserve to run an easier monetary policy, thereby expanding domestic demand. It also increases the real incomes of European and American consumers, since they do not have to spend as much on clothing as before. So they can spend their money on something else. Meanwhile, Chinese workers have increased incomes, which they also spend, invest directly or save. Because wages in China are lower than in the US, efficient companies producing in China, be they domestic or foreign, should be highly profitable.

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