Expert says aquaponics will enhance food production, create employment
Mr Abraham Ayodeji, an expert in aquaculture said on Friday that aquaponics would help to enhance food production as well as create employment for citizens in the country.
Ayodeji made this statement during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.NAN reports that aquaponics is the integration of aquaculture and hydroponics.Aquaculture is the production of living organisms in aquatic environments such as fish, while the hydroponic aspect is the production of plants in a soilless region.
Aquaponics is the integration of aquaculture and hydroponics – growing plants without soil using the water.The expert said that with the unavoidable consequences of climate change in the world and in the country, aquaponics was key to ensuring that the country provided for its population.
So the system works in such a way that the waste from the fish is converted into useful nutrients for the plants.Fishes usually releases ammonia into the environment and this ammonia is really toxic and it is what makes the fish water smelly.
So with the help of certain natural micro organisms like nitro stimulus and nitro batters, the ammonia is broken down into nitrites.
The second organism, which is nitro batters now oxidises nitrites into nitrates which plants require for growth.’’
According to him, during this process, ammonia is being broken down by these micro organisms so prevent the water from smelling.
This is the very first system in this country; if this can be sustained fish production can be increased and this will help a growing population like ours.
People are building more houses, the lands meant to be used for agriculture is used for houses and also because of the effects of climatic change.
It’s effect, especially in the far north of this country, most of the land we have for farming have been taken over by desertification.
So that’s why I thought of soilless agricultural food production where we can produce crops without the use of soil and in this environment, we mimic the situation and condition that suit the plant to grow better,’’ he said.
Ayodeji said this system can also be adopted in places like the South-South where oil spillage was a concern and the water not good for fishing.
The system makes the use of good water utilisation more efficient because it does not require much water,’’ he said.
He said that the same quantity of water pumped from the fish would go back to the fish after the plants had extracted the nutrients.
Ayodeji therefore called on the government to support this project so that such could be copied in other places across the country to help solve our food security issues.
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