Aquaponics is the combined culture of fish and plants in recirculating water systems. It is an environmentally sustainable agricultural method based on the concepts of minimal water use and minimal impact on environmental water quality in comparison to traditional agricultural methods. The water and animal life underneath supplies everything the plants need to survive and thrive.
Who does not want a food production system with endless options to grow fruit and vegetables at home? This economical and sustainable lifestyle is rapidly taking over the world by storm. Aquaponics requires less space and is allows you to place plants closer to each other. Due to the fact that the plant’s roots are underwater, overcrowding will be prevented. Growing food using aquaponics does not involve any soil, producing fresh food without weeding.
Another benefit of aquaponics is the fact that you can grow your own food without any soil pests. Aquaponics is designed in a way that prevents soil pest infestation and pesticide toxins. The recirculation of water provides the plants with a sufficient amount of water resulting in no need to constantly water your plants. You use up to 90% less water in comparison to conventional farming. The great dynamics and capacity of aquaponics make it easy to place numerous plants in a confined space. In comparison to the production of food conventionally in the ground, aquaponics requires provides you food faster and at three to four times the density. No weeding, soil pests and the amazing aquaponics system allow you to grow your own food without investing so much time. On average, aquaponics requires 66% less energy in comparison to conventional gardening. The aquaponics system can be placed at any height you like.
Therefore, bending and straining your back will not be necessary as often as conventional gardening usually entails. Your own production of food will lead to a healthier way of life. Eating natural food without any chemicals is for most people the number one reason to invest in an aquaponics system. The natural process of growing food at home balances conventional aquaculture, fish with hydroponics, plants cultivating in water. Investing in an aquaponics system makes it easy to reproduce using minimum natural resources. This lifestyle gives you the opportunity to grow food in an environmentally friendly way. Combining the production of organic vegetables and fish in the natural ecosystem makes it possible to feed your entire family. Aquaponics provides you with fresh organic food all year round, spending the minimum amount of time and money in order to grow your own sustainable vegetables!
In Sabah, special emphasis is being given to aquaculture in the Ministry’s blueprint. The future of the vegetable industry in Sabah is very bright with the introduction of nature-friendly technology that will boost both the production and value of the commodities. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry would design schemes that assist farmers to go modern using green sustainable technology via the aquaponic and hydroponic system.
Universiti Sabah Malaysia is also doing research on the aquaponics system at the Borneo Marine Research Institute. Though this is a relatively new system in Sabah, our magazine got in touch with 2 private entrepreneurs who are already running the aquaponic system in Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan. Here’s what they have to share about their system to the general public.
MR MICHAEL LEE – SANDAKAN
I discovered Aquaponics accidentally by chance while reading & researching about farming own home-grown healthy food for the family on the internet. This Aquaponics thing suddenly popped up & the more as I read about what is it all about, the more interested I was. The benefit of doing it at home is that you can get chemical & pesticide free healthy home-grown fresh fish & vegetables all year round at your own doorstep for the whole family. There’s nothing fresher than the fish & vegetables that you are harvesting right before you are preparing & cooking your dinner.
My future plans would be to get as many people, communities or even schools to get involved in Aquaponics. These systems can be a small home system or a commercial scale system. People are not aware that a lot of the foods that they are eating every day are the main culprits of many illnesses & diseases of the present day because most of these foods contained a high volume of chemicals & pesticides. In Aquaponics, no chemicals & pesticides are used. If you use chemicals or pesticides in Aquaponics, these will kill your fish in the system. In Aquaponics of commercial scale, the water that is used is only about 5 to 10 percent compared to that is used in land farming. There’s also zero waste discharge in the Aquaponics system.
If you want to find out more about his system, Mr. Lee can be contacted by phone at: +6012-8107162. Mr. Lee presently operates a plantation and also in the process of setting up an organic farm in Sandakan.
MR ALVIN LIM – KOTA KINABALU
Having being an organic grower for more than 5 years, I am always trying to improve or find new technologies in organic farming. Eventually I came across the aquaponics system. Having started an organic farming with requires a lot of man power, land and water, I find that aquaponics is very suitable for home system due to its simplicity, less maintenance and you are rewarded with fresh veggies and fish at your own doorstep. My passion now is to share and teach organic farming at home by developing a home base system that can be incorporated into your house garden. For house gardens with a larger space, imagine having a nicely designed edible landscape garden with water ponds and at the same time get to enjoy having fish and organic vegetables. For houses or apartments that do not have open spaces for gardening, there are compact systems that can also be installed to form a beautiful part of the house.
For those who are interested to learn more about aquaponics, Mr. Alvin Lim can be contacted at +6012-833 2648 and he will gladly share with you his experience and he might also design and build your aquaponic garden for you!