Freitag, 13. Januar 2017

Aquaponics in countries of the MENA region

Aquaponics in countries of the MENA region –
Potential, Progress, Obstacles, Challenges..
All over the World, we face the same problems, in developing countries in particular:
  • Underemployment
  • Lack of skills
  • Lack of water resources
  • Underfeeding
  • Poverty
  • Energy undersupply 
  • Etc.
Additional to this we face following problems:
  • Overfishing
  • Over-fertilization
  • Contamination of the ocean by huge fish-farms
  • Unhealthy farm products
  • Lack of local nutritional food
  • Dependence on imported food supply
  • Logistical problems
  • Etc.
Therefore, it is imperative to find resource preserving methods as alternative for classic agriculture. Producing fresh and healthy food locally "From the region for the region”. 
Local Indoor Farming Units, using i.e. Aquaponics, are a realistic option and already mature. 
Definition Aquaponics:
Aquaponics is a food production system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. In an Aquaponics system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by nitrogen-fixing bacteria into nitrates and nitrites, which are utilized by the plants as nutrients. The water is than recirculated back to the aquaculture system.
As existing hydroponic and aquaculture farming techniques form the basis for all Aquaponics systems, the size, complexity, and types of foods grown in an Aquaponics system can vary as much as any system found in either distinct farming discipline. [Source: Wikipedia]
The idea for Aquaponics is to demonstrate the possibilities to produce vegetables and simultaneously fish. Providing fresh and unloaded food for those in need locally. Aquaponics is a closed system to produce vegetables and fish in a self-contained system. As in this system no soil is needed, the system can be set up nearly anywhere. Water-saving with no additional fertilization for healthy and valuable food. High volume of fresh-food in a small space using as minimal resources. The aim is to reduce the reliance on imported food rations e.g. for feeding programs in developing countries. Providing higher quality, more nutritional food locally. Additional to that the chance to create new businesses and consequently creating jobs locally. In combination with “green tourism” it could be fruitful add-on. 
For the completion of an Aquaponics-system, additional Renewable technologies should come into operation to make the whole System independent from the grid and other energy sources to the greatest possible extent.
  • PV (Photovoltaics): To supply the system with electricity to run the pumps, light,
    monitoring systems etc. (if no grid available => Diesel-hybrid-
  • Solar-thermal-system: To supply the system with heat, to make sure the system is
    running under constant conditions all over the year
The existing technologies of Aquaponics systems are already mature and well known in countries like the USA and Australia. Aquaponics-Systems are transferable to all countries all over the world. Especially in countries with water shortages, like in the MENA region, AP-systems are an alternative to conventional agriculture.
Additional to this, Aquaponics-systems could be a good add-on in tourist centers to provide the people with fresh and healthy food directly where the need is.
Content (the “why?”):
In different countries a huge number of people have no access to fresh, healthy and unloaded food. They are starving and have no chance to change their general living conditions. Fresh vegetables need to be imported with a high energy requirement for transport, from somewhere on this globe. Resulting in high costs. Aquaponics systems shall demonstrate how to produce on a small area fresh and healthy food the whole year with manageable investment. Decentralized directly where the need is.
Additional to that Aquaponics-lighthouse projects will provide interest people with training and education directly on site. The idea is to help the people to help themselves. To create jobs and to train trainers to support similar projects, smaller units, directly on-site in the whole country.
Goals / Tasks:
  • Poverty reduction
  • Reduce unemployment
  • To help people to help themselves
  • Creating jobs
  • Capacity development
  • To ensure the supply of fresh, healthy and unloaded food locally
  • The lighthouse project as a kind of drop-in center for all questions round the technologies, Indoor farming, Aquaponics, Aquaculture and Hydroponics
  • Local support by trained people
Like always, when we are talking about a “new technology”, especially when high first investments are required, the sustainability of this technologies need to be proved. Especially with regard to economic aspects.
Therefore lighthouse projects are needed to prove the technology locally, with a high grade of local content. As there are no real “plug & play solutions” out there. Lighthouse- or pilot-projects are needed to follow the learning curve. Pilot-projects are meant to try different technologies under local conditions. The gained experiences serves as basis for subsequent commercial size projects, to run an indoor farm economically from the beginning.
In some countries in the MENA region some Aquaponics-trials are already done. Most of them just as a hobby demonstration project i.e. in Egypt, or huge turnkey solutions in rich countries like UAE. Are this projects sustainable? Viable in the long term? Without following the learning curve? We doubt that.

Prof.h.c.Dipl.Ing. (FH)
Andreas Woell, Prof.h.c. Dipl.-Ing. (FH)

GM of ANSI-Culture Consultants UG (haftungsbeschränkt)

 Founder and GM of ANSI-Culture Consultants UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
Successful in upper management positions and as director of national and international projects in the field of renewables, energy efficiency etc. for more than 25 years. Confident in exercising roles such as Managing Director, Technical Director and Vice President.  
Expert knowledge in renewables, energy efficiency, energy conservation measures and aquaponics. 
The project, which had aroused his curiosity about indoor farming, was the desert forest project in Qatar, several years ago.
National and International networks in the core area “Renewables” supplemented by network in the area of “Aquaponics”.                        

His mission statement:

"Do you want to make a plan for a year, plant rice. Do you want to make a plan for a decade, plant trees. Do you want to make a plan for a century, educate people."  

(Zhuang Zi 369-270 v.Chr.)

Dienstag, 3. Januar 2017

Nitrat im Grundwasser: Deutschland verzweifelt an Gülleflut

Nitrat im Grundwasser: Deutschland verzweifelt an Gülleflut
// WirtschaftsWoche Online Schlagzeilen

Trotz EU-Klage tritt die Bundesregierung bei ihrem Nitrat-Problem auf der Stelle. Zuviel Gülle belastet weiter das Grundwasser. Nach langem Ringen soll es nun Konsequenzen für die Landwirte geben.
Sigurd A.Röber

Bundesregierung gesteht zu hohe Nitratbelastung ein

Bundesregierung gesteht zu hohe Nitratbelastung ein
// - News

Düngemittel beeinträchtigen die Gewässerqualität in Deutschland. Das gesteht die Bundesregierung jetzt gegenüber der EU-Kommission ein. Deutschland droht eine Geldstrafe wegen Verstoßes gegen die Nitratrichtlinie. Düngemittel in der Landwirtschaft beeinträchtigen nach wie vor die Gewässerqualität in Deutschland. Im Vergleich zu den Jahren 2008 bis 2011 weisen die jüngsten Messreihen der Jahre 2012 bis 2014 kaum Verbesserungen auf. Das berichtet das Bundesumweltministerium (BMUB) in seinem aktuellen Nitratbericht . Diesen muss die Bundesregierung alle vier Jahre der EU-Kommission vorlegen. Der Bericht umfasst Messdaten vorwiegend von landwirtschaftlichen Flächen. Enttäuschend daran: Eigentlich hatte die Bundesregierung eine deutliche Verbesserung durch Schutzmaßnahmen prognostiziert. 28 Prozent der Messstellen weisen Konzentrationen auf, die den Zielwert von 50 Milligramm pro Liter überschreiten. An Flüssen und Seen wird dieser Wert allerdings flächendeckend unterschritten. Erstmals wertet der Bericht auch Phosphat-Einträge in Seen, Flüssen und Küstengewässern aus. Phosphate sind Hauptauslöser des Algenwachstums. Hier sind die Einträge zwischen 2012 und 2014 allerdings deutlicher zurückgegangen als bei den Nitraten. Der angestrebte Zielwert wird aber immer noch an 65 Prozent der Messstellen überschritten. Gerade an den Küsten von Nord- und Ostsee kommt es aufgrund der hohen Nährstoffeinträge im Sommer immer wieder zu starker Algenblüte. Klage vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof anhängig Überschattet wird die diesjährige Veröffentlichung durch eine Klage der EU-Kommission gegen Berlin wegen Verstoßes gegen die EU-Nitratrichtlinie. Deutschland unternehme zu wenig, um die Gewässerbelastung zu verringern, heißt es in der Klage, die die EU-Kommission im November beim Europäischen Gerichtshof eingereicht hat. Insbesondere die Massentierhaltung gilt als Verursacher der hohen Belastungen. Im Bericht des BMUB heißt es hingegen, dass der übermäßige Einsatz von Stickstoffdüngern ... Ganzen Artikel lesen »


Sigurd A.Röber