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Aquaponics a green method to produce quality food

Agricultural productivities suffered a lot during recent past due to unexpected climatic changes,
torrential rains, heat waves, drought and floods. Due to these mentioned constraints shortage of
energy was one of the hurdles as well. It reflects that the nature is shifting its paradigm which is
directly or indirectly danger to the agriculture production ultimately food security is at risk on
this earth crust.  
Due to above narrated uncertain climatic changes, number of issues has to be faced to humanity
for coping up future dangers. Plant breeder responsibilities has enhanced much in order to
develop varieties by prescribe parameters in changing the theme of crop production. Addition to
above number of threats to agriculture sector arise when developed nations use large amount of
agrochemicals to get maximum productivity from crops. This action resulted soil and air
pollution. Milk and meat is essential part of human diet, for this purpose raising of farm animals
is inefficient in terms of land availability and energy requirements to raise fodder and other
animal feed to meet the requirements of protein for huge masses.
The UNO report (2015) indicates that during previous eleven years, six times it happened that
world produced less food as required. Present pace of rate of population, it is expected that the
world will be having 9.3 billion in 2050, this will be an explosion, the average of quality land for
crop productivity will be very few as accommodation requirements will cover most of the land.
Then we must be shifting trends towards vegetarianism and option for protein source may be
shifted to fish or aquaculture. It will take time, growing crops for feeding animals will expected
to be covering most of the cultivated land. For intensive culture, greenhouse gases will be
comparatively more resulting threat to flora and fauna.
Therefore, there is a need to promote a new “green” method of farming like aquaponics around
the world for ‘locally grown food’ in any region to produce healthier food that requires far less
land and water, and at the same time, is environmentally friendly it will not only eliminate the
need or use of artificial chemicals, will be producing sustainability in food security but also will
reduce energy consumption in agriculture production, shipping of food, and greenhouse gas
emissions etc. It will also create jobs thus helpful in strengthening the economy at local level.
Aquaponics has been explored for several decades as a possible solution to the foregoing
environmental, energy and food shortage problems.  It combines the art of growing aquatic
animals (fish), known as aquaculture, with the modern technology of hydroponics in which
plants are grown without soil. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the growing
plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in. The third participants
are the microbes (nitrifying bacteria) and composting red worms that thrive in the growing
media. They do the job of converting the ammonia from the fish waste first into nitrites, then into
nitrates and the solids into vermicompost that are food for the plants. In aquaponics, fish and
plants are grown together in an integrated closed loop re-circulating system with a very low
percentage of water use efficiency or water loss due to evapotranspiration. The fish waste
(effluent) produced by the fish is delivered from the fish tank to a settling tank to remove the
heavy ‘waste’ and then sent to the grow trays to provide a food source for growing plants in the
gravel and the plants provide a natural filter for the water that keeps the fish healthy. This
symbiotic relationship between the fish and the growing plants is the goal of aquaponics by
creating a sustainable ecosystem in which both fish and plants can thrive consequently, produces
safe, fresh protein and healthy vegetables.
In short aquaponics has number of merits and there are number of complexities in the installation
of the system as it needs huge amount of capital and skillful labor availability. The construction
of the system is also not easy and the maintenance of aqueous food requirements and disposal of
waste will also be a great question mark as it is challenge to maintain pH of water, check
micronutrients depletion and water temperature. These are pre requisite for struggling of survival
for living entities. It will need extra powers and budgets for pumping fresh water and disposal of
stagnant water. To cut the story short proper aquaponics system will be difficult to maintain and
unfortunately, due to any reason collapsing and failure of the system will result death of fish and
plants. Despite all these constraints and being positive the system can be established and work
for better ecosystem and food security of masses in long run.


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