Frequently asked questions
What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics refers to any system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment.
In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. In an aquaponic system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponicsystem where the by-products are broken down by nitrifying bacteria initially into nitrites and subsequently into nitrates that are utilised by the plants as nutrients. Then, the water is recirculated back to the aquaculture system.
The figure below summarises this process.
As existing hydroponic and aquaculture farming techniques form the basis for all aquaponic systems, the size, complexity, and types of foods grown in an aquaponic system can vary as much as any system found in either distinct farming discipline.
Why are you based in Rwanda?
Food security is a global issue, as recognised by the Sustainable Development Goals, though the impact disproportionally effects those living in developing countries greatest.
Rwanda has a population of 12.3 million people with 60% living under the poverty line ($1.25 PPP) and 34% of children under 5 effected by malnutrition (FAO). Over 70% of the population work in agriculture though currently with that there is limited opportunity for the two million smallholder farmers to become more market driven to improve their diets and increase their livelihoods; presenting an opportunity and market for NjordFrey to address this challenge.
Overall, Rwanda has made great strides over the last two decades to improve the security and infrastructure of the country. The
Government of Rwanda has developed national strategies e.g. electrifying the full country within 7 years of 2019, plastic bag ban to reduce waste since 2006 and continue to proactive work to remove barriers for outside investment. This presents a safe and welcoming environment for NjordFrey to operate within and to seek investment within.
How can I get involved?
Solving the challenge of improving diets and livelihoods requires a collaborative effect to address the many complex and interconnected issues. NjordFrey welcome discussions with actors in the sector or individuals interested in working with us to achieve this goal. If so, please contact us through the contact page.