Aquaponics and local food systems; a Qatar study

A recent research paper, Towards sustainable food production systems in Qatar: Assessment of the viability of aquaponics, takes a look into how aquaponics can contribute to a local food system** in arid deserts.

The researchers in Qatar found that aquaponics offered food and water security, and sustainable farming practices that mitigate challenges such as pests, disease, and overfishing. As climate change increases, aquaponics can promote food self-sufficiency (social impact) and create positive environmental and economic impacts. Specifically, food production techniques that address water scarcity in this area are essential.

Researchers determined that aquaponics enterprises based on recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) are better suited for food production in arid areas (Shaalan et al., 2018). Also, microbial-based systems like aquaponics are able to degrade waste on a significant level while improving water quality (Li et al., 2019).

While traditional soil-based agriculture can be sensitive to the climate found in arid regions, an emphasis on soilless food production systems such as aquaponics can help minimize chemicals or pesticides compared to soil-based, and with these actions has the potential to improve the state of reservoirs, rivers, lakes, irrigation systems, and wetlands (Abusin, S.A.A. & Mandikiana, B.W., 2020).

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