As Jamaica experiences increasingly severe impacts of climate change and food insecurity, more of its farmers and backyard gardeners are turning to environmentally and financially sustainable farming practices.
Louis McLaren, who installed a backyard INMED Aquaponics® system at his home in St Ann, says he was drawn to this method of farming because of its sustainability. “I started aquaponics about six years ago when I retired,” he explains. “I knew I wanted to do some farming, and aquaponics appealed to me because of its organic nature. It is healthier and it uses less water than traditional farming.” When he learned about INMED Caribbean’s aquaponics training, McLaren says, “I knew I had to jump on board.”
A backyard aquaponics system makes sense financially, adds McLaren. “With rising food prices locally and internationally, growing your vegetables and fruits ease the burden on your monthly household budget for food.” He grows romaine lettuce, kale, cilantro and other herbs for his family and sells the surplus for extra income.
Another benefit of INMED Aquaponics® is that growers do not need a large plot of land like traditional farming. “You can use your backyard to start a small system and expand as you wish,” says McLaren.