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Published on Mar 20, 2012
The 9 Billion Question: It's a question seemingly everyone is starting to grapple with, but very few are presenting solutions for. The growing population question is largely an agricultural one, and it's time to get serious about proposing solutions.
This a video I created for the Penn State 2012 Ag-60 Elevator Pitch video contest. It briefly outline some of my ideas about future aquaponics products and markets as well as how social business models could be utilized to promote local, healthy and organic food access around the world.
In addition to the obvious fact that you get to eat the fish produced, aquaponics offers two huge advantages over contemporary industrial agricultural production.
1) The first advantage is Inputs:
In addition to requiring about a 10th of the water input of standard agriculture, aquaponic system nutritional inputs can be completely vegetative, providing the system's "fish components" are vegetarians. (Encouragingly though, even omnivorous fish species are converting to vegetarianism through the help of breeding programs aimed at producing high-protein soybean varieties, such as those being conducted by eMerge Genetics (http://www.emergegenetics.com/).)
Vegetative inputs translate to less petrol-based fertilizer input and therefore less eutrophication and environmental impacts.
2) Going Indoors
The second major advantage is going indoors. As preliminary vertical farming and hydroponic business models have demonstrated, going indoors offers much higher yields than traditional agriculture per square footage. Pushing agricultural production indoors also offers a greenhouse's greater environmental control, not to mention year-round production with the addition of a solar or geothermal heating element.
This concept consists of a silo-style vertical greenhouse structure situated atop a four aquaculture fish tanks.
The fish-effluent plant-nutrient inputs would be hydroponically circulated throughout the greenhouse by air pumps, and nutrient levels could be monitored by farmers with minimal experience via a simple, visually instructional user interface connected to water monitoring devices.