Harry Arzu reporting…
Aquaponics is a natural way of raising both fish and plants together; a system that produces two crops simultaneously and it is very efficient. It is a method of farming that uses the excrements of fish without the use of pesticides or herbicides and it can produce plenty of food every week in a small place that can feed a family and by extension a community. Hence is the reason a number of Rotarians from the USA are collaborating with their local parents here in Dangriga; their intention is to install a number of Aquaponics systems through the Stann Creek District. Love News spoke with some of the Rotarians who are involved in the project.
“About a year ago we had the opportunity to install a test pilot system of this Aquaponics which is an amazing process of growing fish and then growing vegetables and plants and rocks in a closed loop system. And so we had tested this out and had amazing results and back in October of last year we had some Rotarians from Texas come down take a look at it; visited with our club in Dangriga and said “we might want to take this one step further”. And so that one step further took place this week with the six clubs from North Texas; twenty three people that came to Belize on Sunday and on Monday and Tuesday of this week of this week they have installed on six sites is a test as a Pilot Program to go one step further and so these sites are basically in west and north Stann Creek District so Mullins River, Hope Creek, Middle Sex, Light of the Valley and out at Emeri and so these are smaller systems that we are putting in as a test and over the next year we will make an evaluation to see to make sure they are successful and the vision that we have at Dangriga Rotary as well as the Texas groups is that the potential to install one of these in every Village in Stann Creek and Northern Toledo District to provide a sustainable food source of not only the fish but more importantly healthy vegetables. These can go into our school feeding programs but then also the can go into sell to restaurants and become a business for some people.
“We have done lots of projects around the world and the thing that makes the project work is having a local advocate and so we put water projects in Brazil, we put tractors in Africa but we don’t have anyone there after we’re gone to make sure that they still work in a month or a year. So it’s so important to have a partner and that’s what David has provided. He’s has provided us with a partner so that we know when we leave that they will be maintained and upgraded and that it was followed through with making sure the fish live, making sure the plants are planted and so it doesn’t do any good if it doesn’t work.