Within the framework of its goal to disseminate best practices and technologies in sustainable agriculture, the Waterloo Sustainable Development Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with Toronto based aquaponics developer Ripple Farms, setting in place the foundation for exploring collaboration in providing aquaponics agricultural solutions to international clients through WSDG’s global network.
Aquaponics is a system of agriculture in which conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals in controlled tanks) is combined with hydroponics (the cultivation of plants in water without soil) in a symbiotic relationship whereby the aquatic animal waste provides the nutrients for the plants to grow.
With its ability to produce more food per square meter throughout the whole year, its remarkable water consumption efficiency (using less than 15% of conventional agriculture), and lack of susceptibility to droughts, floods and pests due to its relatively protected and controlled set up, aquaponics is increasingly recognized as a sustainable organic agricultural method that can significantly improve food security and quality in any urban or rural community, especially when combined with space-use maximizing configurations such as vertical farming.
Commenting on the MoU, Brandon Hebor, COO – Co-Founder of Ripple Farms Inc. said that his company is “extremely excited to work with WSDG in creating sustainable food hubs. We believe that food security is an extremely important Sustainable Development Goal that needs to be addressed in all parts of our world. The partnership between Ripple and WSDG showcases the importance of collaboration in successfully designing and implementing large-scale agricultural infrastructure projects. Through this initiative, we hope to provide access to nutritious and culturally appropriate foods to millions of people around the world.”
For his part, WSDG Chief Strategic Officer Ian Chow said that “signing the MoU with Ripple Farms is very strategic for our efforts to contribute to increasing global food security. With the increasing effects of climate change, from drought, to fires, and flooding, food security needs to be addressed in a sustainable manner. Implementing quality food systems that can be catered to almost any location, with minimal impact on the environment, can drastically improve the well being and economic outlook of a community or country.”
WSDG is currently exploring with its international partners and global network the construction of economically feasible and sustainable aquaponics facilities overseas.
WSDG’s CEO Tarek AlFarra and Ripple Farms Co-Owner Steven Bourne also attended the signing of the MoU.