AQUAPONICS SYSTEM ENHANCES FOOD SECURITY & DEVELOPS YOUTH SKILLS
A handover of an Aquaponics system to the Namaqua Child and Youth Care Centre took place recently as part of an Eco-School initiative. In addition to enhancing food security, this initiative is also designed to develop skills, with 14 participants receiving accredited advanced training through its implementation.
Although fully funded by Kangnas Wind Farm, the initiative is being implemented in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Environment, Rural Development and Land Reform (DAERL) to pilot Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) practices within the Namakwa District.
“As a specialised food-producing system, the Aquaponics system will contribute to sustainable food gardening to supplement the Centre’s kitchen food supply. Moreover, this will enhance the children’s skill set by displaying biological principles in a practical manner and improve their understanding of business studies,” explained Rouchet Daniels, Economic Development Manager for Kangnas Wind Farm.
A total of six staff members and eight youths at the Namaqua Child and Youth Care Centre received advanced training in Sustainable and Commercial Aquaponics, facilitated by ‘AquaPro Training & Research Academy’ adding to the impact of this initiative.
“What makes this project even more special for the Center is that three youths who have been champions of the Centre’s “traditional ECO-School garden” were also enrolled in the three-day Advanced Aquaponics training course. With the maturing of the Aquaponics system, the Centre is looking to nurture more staff into the AquaPro mentorship programme within the next six months. The project also aims to produce fish and crops for the Center’s kitchen,” said Irvine Cloete Training co-ordinator for N.C.Y.C.C Education.
Topics covered in the advanced accredited training programme include Working of Aquaponics; Advantages of Aquaponics; Disadvantages of Aquaponics; and The System Location.
One of the participants, aged 17, had this to say about the programme, “I was very happy that I was chosen to be part of the training. I enjoyed learning more about the plants and seeing how smoothly the Aquaponics system worked. One day, I would like to own my own Aquaponics system so I can support my community and create job opportunities in the process.”