- Project Title:
- Helping to Solve Kenya's Agricultural Crisis with Aquaponics
- Issue Area:
There is an agricultural crisis right now in Kenya, where in the coming years, the country will need to feed more people than it has ever before, on less land, with dangers such as drought, disease, and desertification. A major change needs to be made in a country where agriculture is so prevalent in the economy. Kenya has a host of environmental problems such as a lack of water in a majority of the country, limited farming space (only 8% of the land is farmable), and various droughts that put millions of people in danger of starving. That is why Kenya needs a solution that conserves water, optimizes valuable land for farming, and produces more food in a limited amount of space. One solution to Kenya’s problems is aquaponics.
Aquaponics uses the power of an ecosystem to grow food in a sustainable fashion. Fish are housed in a tank of water. These fish then produce bodily waste into the water. That water is then pumped up to a separate bin containing plants in a growing medium (gravel or pebbles, for example). The fish waste in the water provides the nutrients the plants need to grow. In return, the plants are able to take in the waste from the fish, therefore cleaning the water for the fish. The only work that needs to be put into the system is feeding the fish, and occasional maintenance. Aquaponics uses only 10% of the water conventional farming methods use while only using a fraction of the space. Plus, combined with other technologies such as rainwater collection systems, aquaponics has the potential to be even more efficient. Aquaponics is one solution to Kenya’s agricultural problems because it conserves water, optimizes land for conventional farming, and produces more food in less space.
Because more than 40% of Kenyans are under the age of 15, my proposal involves going to schools and teaching youth about aquaponics, how it works, and the advantages it has over conventional farming. I’ve had a passion for different methods of sustainable farming, and have built my own aquaponics system with minimal effort. From experience, I can truly say that aquaponics is by far the most economical, sustainable, and efficient way of farming. Plus, the system is easy to set up and maintain. I plan to give each school I go to an aquaponics system so that they are able to learn hands on about how it works. This will help the next generation of Kenyan farmers be educated about their impact on the environment, and how their decisions affect the world. I believe that helping kids learn how to be responsible in environmental decisions will truly make a difference in the future. I want to help Kenya out of their agricultural crisis, and I want to start by helping to empower youth with the knowledge of sustainable farming, so that they are able to make decisions that impact the future of the world.