Aquaponics: Sustainable Farming for Future Generations
In recent years, there has been a lot of concern among farmers regarding the rapidly depleting natural resources which greatly limits crop production in many parts of the world. Different kinds of solutions have been presented but none have met with as much success as the new method of sustainable farming known as aquaponics.
Aquaponics addresses a lot of different farming issues with an impressive level of efficiency. Take the lack of space, for starters. It has been hard for many farmers to grow as many crops as they would like because of the limited land that they have. But with aquaponics, a lot more crops can be cultivated even in a small space. In fact, there is no need for soil at all and the plants can even be grown indoors.
In traditional farming, the plants draw nutrients from the soil in order to grow. This means that the health of the plants and the volume of the harvest depend on the quality of the soil. However, over time, the soil loses a lot of its natural minerals. The use of fertilizers also disrupts the natural balance in the soil, eventually rendering it unsuitable for planting. When this saturation point is eventually reached, the farmers will have no choice but to transfer to a different farming spot and to begin the process all over again. At least, that’s how it used to be before aquaponics became popular.
With aquaponics, there is no such dependence on soil or on other natural resources for that matter. The aquaponics system is a completely independent environment that can function perfectly and where the elements can all be completely controlled to produce optimal results. A well set up aquaponics system can yield excellent produce for many years without losing any of its efficiency.
Another reason why aquaponics is such a hit among farmers is because it’s not just a highly sustainable way to grow vegetables but it also provides an easy environment for cultivating fishes. In fact, the fishes are necessary to keep the plants healthy because it is the waste products of the fishes that serve as fertilizer to the plants. Similarly, the fishes also depend on the plants to keep their water clean and to provide them with the oxygen that they need to live. In other words, you can grow two crops at the same time, giving you double the income at half the cost and half the effort.
by Ryan Somma