“Developing and Teaching Low-Cost, Sustainable Aquaponics Food Production to Farmers in Central America”
This project is sponsored by: The Cherbec Advancement Foundation
Food security is one of the biggest problems facing vulnerable communities in Guatemala, particularly among rural populations. In recent years the increased occurrence of natural disasters has further exacerbated the problem, resulting in Guatemala’s position for fourth highest malnutrition rate in the world for children under five. Current farming practices are highly dependent on industrial chemicals, and are unsustainable both economically and environmentally. Safe and viable alternatives for sustainable, environmentally sound food production are required, as well as effective strategies for transferring these methods into the community.
Aquaponics is an innovative technology that combines aquaculture (fish farming) with hydroponics (growing plants without soil) to create a sustainable, low-impact food production unit: forming a symbiotic relationship that requires very little input with no adverse environmental effects.
The objective of the project is to develop a low-cost, sustainable food production system that will be used by rural farmers for both personal food consumption and – where appropriate – as a small business. As part of the project, we will build working demonstrations that will be used as models to transfer the technology to subsistence farmers and small fish businesses. Teaching materials and manuals will be developed with the local people, for use by the local people, in parallel with the technology development. These materials, along with the demonstration systems, will then form the basis for a curriculum to transfer this technology to people in rural areas throughout Central America.