Growing your own food
Water is always a critical talking point in arid countries such as Namibia. However, many people and organisations are stepping up to share potential solutions to curbing water wastage when producing food.
The Desert Research Foundation of Namibia has built aquaponic systems at several schools in Southern Namibia.
Bernadette Shalumbu explains that aquaponics produces both fish and organic vegetables in a dynamic, natural, pond-type ecosystem. Described as ‘the farming of the future’, aquaponics can be designed to provide food for a family or be scaled up to provide food on a commercial basis.
For Namibia, the best part about aquaponics is that, by recycling water and nutrients in a closed-loop system, it uses 90% less water than traditional farming. Another benefit is that no harmful fertilizers are used, so there is no danger of contaminated water running off and making its way into the water system.
Aquaponic systems can also grow greater quantities of produce compared to conventionally grown vegetables planted in the ground. Using aquaponics, vegetables usually grow significantly faster and at three of four times the density without depleting the nutrients.
What’s more, you don’t need to possess extraordinary growing skills or have a lot of space to make use of an aquaponic system. The system can be built to the size you require and needs very little attention since set up.