Aquaponics

Aquaponics is the cultivation of fish and plants together in a constructed, re-circulating ecosystem utilizing natural bacterial cycles to convert fish wastes to plant nutrients. This is a natural food growing method that harnesses the best attributes of aquaculture and hydroponics without the need to discard any water or filtrate or add chemical fertilizers.

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Aquaponic systems take up a lot less space than conventional farming methods and as the population of the Virgin Islands continues to grow, so does our demand for food. Consequently, domestic food production rates continue to stay at a level insufficient of our ever-increasing needs. Statistics reveal that around 90% of the food consumed in the Virgin Islands is imported from overseas.

Our reliance on foreign production of food is detrimental to the overall growth, prosperity, and self-reliance of our nation. The simplest solution to this crisis would be to multiply the amount of land dedicated to agricultural use and increase the amount of traditional domestic farms/production facilities. However, conventional farming and agricultural methods are hindered by three main disadvantages: the dedicated use of land solely for farming; constant work needed to maintain proper soil conditions for sustainable growth; and inefficient irrigation systems that lose a significant amount of water due to evaporation.

The real way to overcome our food security issues is to encourage the people of the Virgin Islands to take matters into their own hands and cultivate their own food in their own homes. Land is one of the scarcest commodities our islands have to offer and we are already starting to notice a shortage. As a result, the most efficient solution is for our country’s citizens to utilize our existing land to its maximum potential.

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