The First Steps to Food Security
The following extract about Aquaponics submitted by Ready done
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.