Agriculture has been an integral part of the Jamaican economy, and for many years, local agriculture accounted for most of the food consumed in the country. As climate change disrupts the food supply and production on the island, INMED Aquaponics® is leading the charge to assist farmers in implementing aquaponics systems to ensure sustainable livelihoods and food security for local communities.
One such farmer is Vanessa Green from Porus, Manchester. She was previously involved in livestock farming but decided to focus on fish farming—a long-time interest. She had the basic knowledge of the process as well as some equipment to start on this new venture and reached out to INMED Caribbean for advice and training.
“I decided to go through the training because after I received the initial information from the INMED team, I wanted to learn more,” says Green. In addition to discovering how aquaponics is climate resilient, less labor-intensive, and yields significantly higher harvests than traditional farming year-round, Green also was impressed with the environmental benefits.
“Because aquaponics doesn’t use dirt, there is no need for certain herbicides, fertilizers, and chemicals,” says Green. “The fish provide most of the nutrients you need for your system.”
Green was one of the first to achieve online certification in INMED Aquaponics® and built her own backyard aquaponics system under the guidance of INMED Caribbean’s technical team. “The great thing about INMED Aquaponics® is that the system is scalable, and you can move at your own pace,” she notes. “You can start small with just one tank and then you can build your system and increase as you see fit.”
Green already had fish tanks and some of the equipment, which helped reduce cost. And because INMED’s systems are made of locally available materials and can be solar-powered, construction costs are affordable.
“INMED’s guidance through the process of setting up my system was extremely valuable,” says Green. “INMED helped me with plumbing work, setting up of tables, and designing the layout and formation of my system. They even advised me on the purchase of the correct air pump, mesh, water pump, and air stones. It has been a great experience.”