The purpose of our project is to see whether aquaponic farms could ever be used in Madagascar as a way to generate funds for conservation projects, while also addressing environmental issues themselves. In order to do all these things, we hope to to generate a report that, with several harvest's data, will show what crops we can produce and how quickly. If we can produce enough food that the farm is worth the cost of construction, we can justify building more farms.
We want to build the farm in the region of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. This park is not only home to a massive range of frogs and reptiles, it is home to the largest lemur in Madagascar, the Indri. It is an area with a quickly increasing population, yet still struggling with many of the problems seen across Madagascar: hunger, deforestation and poaching.
After construction, we will gather enough harvests for a reliable average of yields. This way we can be sure of our strengths and weaknesses and plan our next moves appropriately. Below you can find the main aims of the project and details of what we hope to accomplish.
If this pilot study is successful, we will want to build more farms, and bigger ones too! It is really important that we discover any teething problems before investing in a larger project, and that we find local people who can sell us the necessary materials. We also aim to create designs to share online so that anyone else can use the data to build their own farms.
By building in Andasibe-Mantadia, we make sure our crops are grown in rainforest conditions. It is important to do this here because future farms will likely be built in these areas, since this is where most human-habitat conflict arises. We want to see just how much food we can produce on a given piece of land. Are there combinations of plants that allow for even greater yields? Will the fish be comfortable enough to breed in these conditions? Can we raise crops that local people will want to buy?
Studying the Market
The proposed area for the project is near to a large city, Moramanga, where reports show that there is a large market for lemur meat. While we are in Madagascar we want to examine how and where we could sell any produce. How does the food supply system work? We also want to find out how much bushmeat is sold, how much is it worth and can we sell fish meat for less?