Promoting urban farming through automated aquaponics system

Capiz State University, in collaboration with the Local Government Units of Capiz and fisherfolk cooperatives and association, is conducting a research project for the establishment of a small-scale solar-powered and Internet of Things (IoT)-supported aquaponics geared towards an eco-friendly urban farming system.

 Dr. Rey dela Calzada, project leader, cited that aquaponics system will utilize water efficiently through its recirculating system, limit waste and effluents, and increase density of crop production. Also, it has an efficient two-in-one production system for producing two agricultural commodities.

 The research considers African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) and green leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa) as culture commodities because of its suitability to certain parameters and selection criteria such as tolerance ability to high nutrient levels, possibility of year-round production, and strong market value.

 The smart aquaponics system with installed sensors is expected to retrieve data that can be accessed in real time through the  internet-based mobile applications. Data include pH, dissolved oxygen, water level, water temperature, ammonia, nitrate, and fish feed.

 With funding assistance from the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research, the said aquaponics system will be evaluated in terms of its performance, production, and economic viability that can attract commercial farmers and home gardeners  and address the growing interest in locally grown food.

(### Maria Elena M. Garces)