The development of practical skills amongst rural landholders in the use of the 'aquaponic' production system is a focus of this project. Aquaponics is a joined system of freshwater fish production and hydroponic vegetable production. The cycling of wastes between fish production and vegetable production ensures high nutrient reuse efficiencies and a natural bio mimicking form of water filtration. The project will provide a training service in conjunction with the use of learned farming skills at an existing production facility in the Northern Adelaide Plains Gawler River Region.
Several integrated aquaculture projects over the last 6 yrs by these forward thinking research innovators to save communities like the dying Riverland region have been developed and presented by the #1Aquaponic research farm and its sister business Aquaculture Advantage. This site has been visited by Australian and international students, booked luncheon edu-tours and numerous government funded agencies since 2006 leaving its visitors in awe at the cutting edge developments this tech savvy farm offers. Visitors are excited at the possibilities of further local job creation, sustainability and minimal water requirement in a dry state and all with no chemical fertiliser, pesticide or herbicides use producing two crops with one drop of water. Fish with a side salad!
Researcher and certified trainer and assessor Andrew Dezsery said “Until now, no official support or funding in Australia has been made available to develop these sustainable bio-technology sectors further. Additionally, increasing bureaucratic legislation and mono cropping mentality makes it harder for farmers to provide food for this lucky country thereby sending some farmers off their land.”
He added, “Over 7.2 billion dollars of vegetables has been imported into Australia over the last five years and a portion not passing the safety concerns of bio-security or functional foods yet our own border security is allowing these vegetables that contain banned chemical substances used in that food production to be imported into Australia for our consumption.”
A report,” Commercial Integrated Farming of Aquaculture and Horticulture"
The integrated research farm in Lewiston, South Australia has had over 300 visitors amazed by the mass of food available to be produced with fish and horticulture integration. Extrapolations of up to 90 tonnes of food per acre using these modern farming technologies are founded.
“We have offered our home study aquaponic course for DIY type folk and for the moms and dads; it is a great fast learning curve for providing fresh food for the family at home with pluses for every member of the family. What’s really exciting for the SA region is we are now seeing a movement towards forward thinking farmers who know we need to change our methods of production and it is now that we will see some really interesting things come out of this first group of trainees. This may well save some of these farmers from losing the shirts off their backs by giving them a chance to understand and develop small footprint sustainable cash crops of foods that people actually want to buy because of their quality, the methods of sustainability and production and that they are locally produced by their own community identities.”
With twelve years of advocating this type of farming Andrew added “With the Government support for community sector development of new and enterprising food production now finally official, other sustainable integrated farming developments will have a chance of getting off the ground now that we have set the precedent for them.”
For further information on courses or systems used in these production methods call Andrew S. de Dezsery M.Sc at the Lewiston research farm on 0412477036.
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Private research farm based at Lewiston in South Australia with over 48 years of combined commercial aquaculture, aquaponic and horticulture experience. Manufacturers of aquaponic equipment, education and consultancy services to the commercial sector.