Charting the Path to Food Security!
Submitted by Baird’s Village Aquaponics Association (BVAA)
This is an overview of the plan for the building of a privately owned aquaponics industry capable of providing 100% of Barbados’s locally consumed herbs and vegetables; We invite you to our open day on June 10th time 7 till 11 or 1 till 5 to take a close look at the future of local farming – click on the link to find the farm using Google Maps – https://www.google.com/maps?cid=9583706197124082053&hl=en&gl=gb&shorturl=1 . The Aquaponics machine is the open sourced solution for mainstream adaptation of a food production system independent of the global industrial agriculture complex. We must reach 2 tipping points in this journey to achieve market acceptance. 1500 persons must adopt hobby level systems and 700 persons must adopt semi commercial systems. I will tell you why below but first let me tell you why aquaponics is the solution.
The true cost of food is subsidized by outside market forces, what we pay for food is considerably less than the cost to produce the actual food. Farming is very difficult because farming is actually in a different sector of the economy from all other goods and services this is called the primary economy and this is evident in the fact that farmers pay retail for inputs and sell produce at wholesale price, the reverse of the secondary economy cash flow model which is to buy low add a profit and sell high.
Aquaponics works because of two factors, the first factor is because it is water based farming so the physical work of moving and processing manure on the farm is transferred from inefficient manual labor to precise electrical work of water pumps offering an exact monetary value for the work input to a farming system. When coupled with solar powered systems the payment amounts are below the current rates charged by the electrical company. The second factor is because 100% of the fish waste is reused as the main input for plant production. The efficiency of having two financial models operating with one input is what gives aquaponic systems the ability to operate without subsidies. And it has been proven to be culturally accepted mainly because of highly localized distribution networks.
Using a standardize 350 gallon component with a small footprint allows for little altering to the land and because of the water based nature of aquaponics there is little pollution therefore it is the only farming model capable of operation in residential areas. By using one standard 350 gall container it makes the complex dynamics of aquaponics adaptable by ratio, the basic one being 1 fish component to 4 plant components. It takes a minimum of 206 components in a network to produce minimal viable cash flow per operator.
It’s a long term investment; we have to sell 1500 hobby level systems to raise the resale value of the component to 50% of original cost. At this first topping point the market will be consuming enough fish feed to lower the cost to $1 per pound. Hobby level systems have a quick ROI of 4 years because they are competing against organic supermarket prices. The lower feed input cost will in turn be lowering return on investment for commercial investors in the wholesale market to 4 years making way for larger scale investment in the industry. At this secondary tipping point of 700 full time operators a computerized network with a centralized processing and supporting system can accurately predict 3 months of food production, securing sales.