A project of large-scale aquaponics EU funded aims to optimize the management of food and water to contribute to global food security.
The growth of world population induces competition for water, soil, food and energy. But resources are limited and unsustainable agricultural practices and climate change is exacerbating these problems. Therefore, the European Union has decided to fund a visionary project for the next four years, the same which has 18 partners from 8 countries.
The EU has delivered about 6.0 million to implement an innovative aquaponics system that has the potential to contribute aa global food security.
An aquaponic system allows dual use of water, nutrients, energy and space. Effluent aquaculture section are used for plant nutrition.
The new project «Innovative & demonstration model based water resource management for efficiency in agriculture and aquaculture integrated multitrophic systems» (INAPRO) aims to achieve real progress towards implementation and commercialization of this promising technology.
The coordination of INAPRO project is located in Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB). Scientists at IGB have developed the «ASTAF-PRO» technology (aquaponic system for the production of tomatoes and fish in greenhouses) that provides ideal growing conditions for fish and vegetables while challenging traditional aquaponic systems can not be do.
«ASTAF-PRO offers a sustainable value-added chain, with a significant reduction of water and carbon footprint compared to existing systems,» explained Prof. Werner Kloas, one of the developers.
«ASTAF-PRO is the technological basis for INAPRO. Together with our international, highly qualified and experienced project partners from science and industry, we aim to cover the entire value chain from research to market, from modeling and experimental research to pilot scale to communicate and transfer knowledge to employers, employees and the general public «emphasized Dr. Georg Staaks, INAPRO project coordinator.
During the project four demonstration facilities (each 500 m2) will be modeled, built and evaluated. The facility will be located in Spain, Belgium, Germany and China.
«We want to test the economic viability of the system and develop modular system solutions that are scalable and adaptable to local conditions. INAPRO open new business opportunities for aquaponics inside and outside Europe, for producers and technology providers from industry to the end user «resume Kloas