Despite those who can’t see the importance of adopting highly sustainable methods of growing food, the interest in and practice of aquaponics continues to spread to more places in the world. Normally, I’d share one new item, but this week there are several. Why wait till some are stale?
There have been aquaponics projects in the Arabian peninsula for several years now, but to date they’ve been government discovery or commercial operations. Now it’s hitting the classroom in the capital city of Muscat, which shouldn’t be surprising, because the Omani take just as much pride in building a highly educated future as they do maintaining their heritage and it’s frankincense-trading past that stems back for centuries.
Thanks to support from local business, Vale Oman Pelletizing Company, three schools in Muscat now have aquaponics systems. The social project launched just before Christmas as part of Vale’s “Make it Happen” values and commitment. Locals are very pleased with the installations, and see the importance of it as an educational unit, not just because area students will learn how to grow food sustainably, but also that it broadens the knowledge available to them. Learning about how it works increases both science and social skills, teaches them to be self-dependent, and expands their research methodology.
Vale in Oman chose this educational project for it’s skill set as much as for the awareness it will bestow about caring for precious natural resources, and the environment responsibly. It mirrors the company’s mission of transforming natural resources into prosperity and sustainable development.
Seventh graders at Wai’aha School have been busy designing what their city will be like 100 years from now. They’re participating in the Future City Competition through the STEM program by combining history and science for this school year. To figure out how to best approach resource conservation and environmental protection, the students have studied history all the way back to Ancient Rome. Using what they’ve learned about city design through the ages, they built their vision dubbed, K-Kona, in SimCity. It’s an artificial island off-shore that includes floating aquaponics farms on boats. Since Hawaii isn’t about to grow anymore arable land, floating farms are the best approach to more sustainable living in a growing community that will also need more space for homes, businesses, and shopping.
This years Future City challenge is, “Waste Not, Want Not” – so naturally the K-Kona island is built from recycled materials, and in the scaled model the kids hope to take with them to San Diego on January 20th. Let’s hope they make it. The cost of taking the class to the mainland is over $8,000. The competition waived their entry fee because Hawaii has never entered, which helps. Meanwhile, the children are frantically trying to raise the rest of the funds they need to enter their project.
Ghana, West Africa:
U.S. clean technology firm, Zoetic Global, a provider of renewable energy and sustainable agriculture solutions, has been working with the government of Ghana to make consistent energy available to the people who live there. Now, they’ve formed a new alliance with the Ministery of Fishery and Aquaculture Development to establish several precision aquaponics setups to improve food security sustainably. The systems are custom designed and will combine with Workforce Training programs in 5 key locations in Ghana’s Volta, Brong-Ahafo, Eastern, Upper East and Western regions.
Minister of MOFAD, Hon. Sherri Ayittey has plans to spread aquaculture farming nationwide in a move to provide the people with good food and preserve the land simultaneously. Zoetic CEO, Jerome Ringo, says he’s excited over the new initiative. He and his team are ready to launch the program in Ghana, and work closely with the minister to ensure its success. This program will likely be modeled after the company’s Workforce Training project at Steelton-Highspire High School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania under the Aggreco brand.