growing food | Anywhere!

May 5, 2014 - Public Design

The Maa-Bara project empowers local student groups in impoverished Lenya, Kenya, to sustainably grow fish and vegetables using “aquaponics” deployed on-site at school.  A combination of aquaculture and hydroponics, this low-cost, low-tech method of farming re-circulates water and nutrients in a closed-loop system and can be built from off-the-shelf components readily available in the country. The system provides students with a consistent food supply as well as an affordable, scalable and replicable entrepreneurial means of constructing and operating an income generating system.
Maa-Bara is a minimal-waste closed-loop sustainable agricultural model that utilizes kitchen scraps to grow healthy, fresh fish and vegetables. The Maa-Bara system increases food security by boosting the productivity of small-holder farmers allowing families to grow their own food at a quantity and quality they desire in almost any location and in places where food has never been grown before.
We are developing low-tech, low-cost kits for the developing world.
Maa-Bara means “water farm” and comes from the Ogoni language of the Niger Delta.  Each Maa-Bara structure is designed to utilize kitchen scraps as feed for tilapia fish. The tilapia-waste-laden water then becomes a nutrient solution for hydroponics (growing vegetables without soil). The output is an empowered and employed community which grows their own food.
One 5,678 liter system takes up only 6 square meters of space and generates approximately 1,050 fish and 4,200 vegetables per year. That is enough to provide a family of 5 with approximately 3 fish and 12 vegetables per day. Excess fish and vegetables can be sold as a source of supplemental income or shared with extended family and friends.
Website of the company Maa-Bara: http://maabara.org/

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