NEWS AND EVENTS
New paper analyses European consumers’ attitude towards aquaponic product
The COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action FA1305 “The EU Aquaponics Hub —Realising Sustainable Integrated Fish and Vegetable Production for the EU” recently published a paper which provides a wide overview of the state of the art of aquaponics production in the EU.
The paper acknowledges that until now aquaponics research has been mainly focused on the technical issue related to production more than on marketing and commercialisation. However, as an increasing number of aquaponics companies are active in Europe, a clear institutional framework for the production and commercialisation of aquaponic products is urgently needed. Indeed, the paper highlights the negative impact that the lack of legislative framework and standardisation for integrated production systems has on the young European aquaponics sector.
Moreover, a survey was conducted among potential consumers to investigate their perception of aquaponics. The survey discovered that around 17% of the respondents would look for aquaponically grown vegetables and 38% of them would look for aquaponically farmed fish over conventionally farmed ones. Moreover, consumers willing to buy aquaponic vegetables would be disposed to pay them maximum 40% more than conventional ones and 23% would be willing to pay more for aquaponic fish.
Finally, the paper stresses the need for implementing holistic approaches involving all actors working with aquaponics in order to establish a marketing plan and common communication strategies.
Prof. Kloas at the Berlin Green Week
On the 19th of January, Prof. Kloas, INAPRO coordinator, moderated a panel discussion entitled “Can wastewater contribute to food security?" during the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture that took place in Berlin. The other speakers on the panel were Dr. Marlos de Souza (FAO), Dr. Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa (UNESCO ), Dr. Steven N. Schonberger (World Bank) and Dr. Sophie Boisson (WHO ).
The discussion was focused on how the smart use of wastewater can help to ensure water and food security. One of the main obstacles when it comes to wastewater reuse is the risk of contamination, which demonstrates that proper processing is needed. The INAPRO project was presented as an innovative example of sustainable water use in agriculture, a solution that could help with the facing of future water shortages.
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First INAPRO catfish processed in Waren
In December, the first catfish produced through the INAPRO system were slaughtered in the Waren demonstration site. From now on, around 2 tonnes of fish per month should be harvested and processed by the project partner Müritzfischer.
INAPRO showcased at EuroTier in Hanover
INAPRO partner PAL Anlagenbau attended the annual EuroTier fair that took place in mid-November in Hanover, Germany. EuroTier is one of the world’s leading trade fairs for animal production, and every year it attracts thousands of visitors interested in receiving information on various products, systems, innovations and trends.
The INAPRO urban demonstration system was showcased during the fair and it raised the interest of an impressive number of visitors. Indeed, the demonstration object proved to be very useful for explaining the INAPRO system which is able to provide a viable solution to integrated fish and vegetable production.
More pictures are available here.
Successful aquaponics end-user workshop in Berlin
The Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), coordinator of the INAPRO project, held a successful aquaponics workshop on the 28th of November in Berlin. The main aim of the workshop was to gather together potential aquaponics end-users to explore the potential of this technology, the obstacles and the challenges.
The workshop was very successful and the 20 participants from Germany, Austria and Spain had the possibility to exchange with IGB scientists and some INAPRO experts to learn more about the latest results in aquaponics research and to receive some feedbacks from practical experiences. The workshop represented also a great occasion for participants to exchange and network with each other.
More pictures are available here.
INAPRO celebrates the Day of Aquaculture in Madrid
INAPRO project partner Tilamur participated in the conference organised by the European Commission and by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Environment that took place on the 28th of November in Madrid to celebrate the Day of Aquaculture.
The event saw the participation of the European Commission and of Spanish policy-makers, representatives of the aquaculture sector, and schools. Spain was the first EU Member State to implement the #FARMEDintheEU campaign launched by the Commission in order to raise awareness about sustainable aquaculture among European citizens.
The event was also aimed at creating new links between different actors in the sector, such as enterprises, producers, European and National decision-makers and representatives of public administrations in order to exchange good practices, improve mutual knowledge and promote the consumption of sustainable aquaculture products.
Mariano Vidal, manager of Tilamur, participated in the event and presented INAPRO to the public, and to a group of school kids, who showed a great interest in aquaponics.
INAPRO already participated in some events organised by the European Commission in the framework of the #FARMEDintheEU campaign, notably in Berlin in January 2016 and in Milan in May 2015. Prof. Werner Kloas, INAPRO coordinator, collaborates to the campaign by cooperating with the "Carl-Bechstein" gymnasium in Erkner.
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The Aquaponics Academy visits the Waren demo-site
At the end of October, Mr Ralf Fisch, fish farmer and consultant, visited the INAPRO demonstration site in Waren with the participants in a training organised by the Aquaponics Academy in cooperation with the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development. The aim of the visit was to discover the innovations provided by the INAPRO system and to discuss about the construction of new aquaponic farms.
Open day at the Waren demonstration site
In mid-October, the INAPRO partner Müritzfischer organised an opening ceremony to present the INAPRO demonstration facility to the citizens of Waren and visitors of the region. The ceremony took place in the framework of the "Müritzfischtage" annual event.
The opening ceremony was a big success with around 1000-1500 people visiting Müritzfischer and the INAPRO demonstration site. Visitors had the opportunity to taste and buy the tomatoes as well as the fish while several project partners explained how aquaponics and in particular the INAPRO system works.
A delegation from Honduras visited the demo-site in Murcia
Last week, a delegation from the National Agricultural University of Honduras visited the INAPRO demonstration site in Murcia (Spain). The delegation was visiting Spain in the framework of an Erasmus Mundus project aimed at strengthening the internationalisation of the University to achieve a comprehensive development in Latin America. A cooperation agreement between the National Agriculture University of Honduras and the University of Murcia was also signed.
During the Spanish trip, the students and the Dean of the University, Mr. Carlos Manuel Ulloa Ulloa, had the possibility to visit the INAPRO demonstration site and they were very interested by its innovative technology.
The Galician Regional Government discovers INAPRO
At the beginning of September, Mr Juan Carlos Maneiro, General Director for Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Regional Ministry for Marine Affairs of Galicia, visited the INAPRO demonstration site located in Murcia (Spain) and exchanged with Mr Mariano Vidal, manager of Tilamur and partner of the project.
The visit was organised after a meeting between INAPRO partners and Mr Maneiro in Brussels. The aim of the meeting and the following visit was to seek possible collaboration in order to replicate the INAPRO aquaponic system in other European regions.
The visit was also attended by Mr Joaquín Hernández, Mayor of Lorquí, Ms Carmen Teodora Morales, General Director of the Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister of Murcia, and Mr Javier Martinez and Mr Javier Sanchez, Professors at the University of Murcia.
During the very fruitful visit, Mr Maneiro recognised that aquaponics could play a crucial role in rural development, and in fighting against depopulation in rural areas.
Egyptian delegation visited the INAPRO demo-site in Waren
A delegation formed by Prof. Alaa G. M. Osman, Prof. Mohsen A. Moustafa and Dr. Mahmoud M. S. Farrag from the Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science of the Al-Azhar University (Egypt) visited the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries on 5-9 September 2016. The visit took place in the framework of the “Tomatofish in Africa” workshop, founded by the Alexander von Humboldt foundation.
The aim of the workshop was to demonstrate how to build an aquaponic system with a small budget and basic material. Aquaponics is a green technology that can play an important role in producing sustainable food in countries with limited resources or water scarcity issues. Ingo Cuppok, a technician at IGB, showed to the guests how to build a low-budget aquaponic system while Prof. Werner Kloas, INAPRO Coordinator, explained the necessary theoretical background.
The visit was concluded by a tour of the INAPRO demonstration site located in Waren in order to show how an INAPRO aquaponic system is managed.
INAPRO at the “Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften” in Berlin
On the 11 of June, INAPRO participated in the latest edition of the “Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften – The Long Night of Science” in cooperation with the Berlin University of Applied Sciences.
This popular event takes place once a year and gives universities and scientific institutions the opportunity to open their doors for one night to organize lectures, exhibitions and demonstrations in order to present their activities to the public. Visitors can meet and exchange with scientists and researchers and discover the most cutting-edge technologies.
This year, several kinds of projects were showcased which included some of the best and most innovative bachelor theses. An exhibition pavilion was dedicated to aquaponics and hosted a small-scale INAPRO urban demonstration system created by Wenke Förster, a student of the Berlin University of Applied Sciences.
A tomato tasting session was also organized at the Haus der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft in Berlin and around 90 visitors could try and evaluate the INAPRO aquaponic tomatoes and compare them to the ones produced with conventional hydroponics.
Pictures of the Open Day of the German Federal Government
At the end of August, INAPRO participated in the Open Day organised by the German Federal Government, and showcased a brand new 3D model of the INAPRO system created by Autosoft. The numerous visitors, including Mr Christian Schmidt, German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture and Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary, also had the possibility to taste the tomatoes farmed at one of the INAPRO aquaponic demonstration sites.