Madagascar's wildlife faces a great number of challenges at the moment, which act as a vicious circle driving these unique ecosystems to collapse. Aquaponic farms may be able to deal with many of these issues simultaneously hopefully breaking the cycle. Please click on the images in the gallery to see how the benefits of aquaponic farming can be used to save Madagascar!
Aquaponic farms can produce far more food than regular farms on the same piece of land; they can have 4 or even 5 harvests a year! This could not only provide extra income for farmers who adopt this method, but could deal with the widespread hunger in Madagascar.
Not only do aquaponic farms produce more food than regular farms, they also provide a greater variety, including fish. This not only makes the farm more stable economically, but also provides a source of protein which can be farmed more efficiently and quickly than lemurs can breed and mature. As a result, it should be able to out-compete poached bushmeat in the marketplace. Additionally, the fish used - tilapia - can be fed duckweed, an invasive species, which can be gathered from Madagascan rivers cheaply.
Aquaponic farms are not dependent on soil. This means that building these farms would not expose the bare earth to erosion. This also means that they are not tied into the same cycles as slash-and-burn farms.
Aquaponic farms are essentially a closed loop, meaning they can run indefinitely. They do not need to shift every few years, as in slash-and-burn agriculture, removing the need to burn swathes of the rainforest.
Aquaponic farms are not complicated to build or maintain, and do not require expensive fertilisers or pesticides to make work. This means they are easy and cheap to run and replicate. This will also allow for rapid expansion if the project shows that the farms can be self-sustaining.
80% of Madagascar's population are farmers; if aquaponic farms can self-sustain, it offers a chance to directly improve the lives of a large part of the population while also serving environmental goals.