We are excited to announce that we have our first aquaponics system up and running. It is currently on the 3rd floor terrace at the YWAM Constanta building and is doing quite well. We have had plenty of challenges, but we are very happy with the progress made so far. There is a large amount of interest and excitement building over the potential this system has here in Romania as well as the rest of the world.
For those new to the idea of aquaponics, it is a sustainable food production system that combines conventional aquaculture (fish farming) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. To explain what happens simply, the fish waste becomes food for the plants and the plants clean the water for the fish. We have made a video to explain how it works:
Aquaponics is a simple tool that can produce large amounts of food in small spaces while using only 10% or less of the water traditionally needed to grow the same amount of vegetables in soil. Add to that the production of meat in the form of fish, the reduced number of manhours required to maintain it, and you can begin to see why this sustainable food system is so incredible. Each week we are shocked by how quickly the plants are growing.
These systems can vary in size, shape, and cost depending on the local situation and need. Family-size units to feed 6-10 people in a developing world context without electricity can be built for as little as US$100 in places like Kenya. Systems also can be tailored around the education level of those managing the system. They can be built in a matter of days or weeks, depending on the size and complexity of the system needed.
As something new is passed on, there will always be the need for continued support, which opens the door for a key part of this ministry: building relationships. As we teach and equip people to meet the physical need of hunger, we also engage with them as a friend and a helper, introducing them to the love of God and the reality of relationship with Jesus.
We are excited to begin training others to do this in Romania and beyond! If you want to help out, partner with us, or to find out more information, please feel free to contact us. We would love to help you out in any way we can!
– Aquaponics Team
YWAM Constanța, Romania