Aquaponics farmer, Penina Tusoya has devised a cheaper way using local materials to set up a farm as the materials needed have to be imported from overseas and are very expensive.
A pilot set up has been done at DIVA for Equality’s backyard where women can learn about it and set up their own farms.
Tusoya is sharing her knowledge with as many women as possible.
Aquaponics farming does not require soil or fertilizers, and vegetables are planted in gravel and water enriched by nutrients present in fish waste.
She says the system that she learnt about in university is expensive as the materials are imported from overseas and adds that she realised that these materials can easily be localised as they are all around us.
The materials include timber, gravel, plastic drums and PVC pipes.
Tusoya says women are facing a lot of challenges in terms of accessing land where many women do not own land so this system will enable them to set the structure in their own backyards.
She says this system is suitable for them as it is not that expensive to set up and the vegetables planted mature faster than traditional methods.
Tusoya adds that the set up is also beneficial for farmers after bad weather as it can easily be set up and vegetables such as cabbage can grow in three weeks time.
She has also highlighted that this system is also great for helping families to get out of poverty where it can become a source of income and employment.
Tusoya adds the level of NCD's in our country is high and this system can also help Fijians become healthier as it does not use fertiliser and is organic where the source of nutrients for the plants is fish waste.
The solar-powered system costs $1,400 but the price can be further reduced in rural areas where timber and gravel is easily available.
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