Germany: Innovative, sustainable aquaponics production in Berlin

With arable land under increasing pressure, there is a strong push to use urban space in new ways to help meet the demand for food and fibre. Lloyd Phillips of Farmer's Weekly visited one such initiative in Germany’s capital, and came away impressed with its innovation, flexibility and success.

Tucked away in a revamped industrial area of south-central Berlin is an innovative farming operation that seeks to be a leading example of intensive and sustainable urban food production in Germany and across the world.

These are the premises of ECF (Eco-Friendly Farming) Farmsystems, the brainchild of entrepreneurs Nicolas Leschke and Christian Echternacht, who are using technology to maximise production of quality foods in a limited space and with relatively few resources.

Marie Schönau, management assistant with ECF, says that Nicolas and Christian were driven to develop their urban agricultural system through a desire to use fresh food ingredients that did not have to be transported long distances.

“The aquaponics concept appealed to them the most,” explains Marie.

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