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Auquaponics Benin

Providing food and income with aquaponic vegetable gardens.

Foundation Hubi & Vinciane (FHV) is a belgian NGO active in the Parakou region of Benin. Together
with the local people they set up projects around healthcare, education and agriculture. In one of
these projects the foundation tries to introduce aquaponics in the region. Aquaponics is a hybrid
form of aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic way:
fish feces are used as nutrients for the plants, which thus filter the water and keep it clean for the
fish. That way, both plants can be cultivated, fish can be farmed and water can be reused.

The long term goal of the project is to introduce small household scale aquaponic units to families,
who can use it as a vegetable garden, thus providing an additional source of food/income.

In November 2019, five such systems were installed in the city of Parakou. They are used for testing
and research. They were installed on three different locations: the centre of innovation of Hubi &
Vinciane, the university of Parakou and  la Ferme de Sokounon. To guarantee good water flow, the
systems need a water pump and use some electricity. At the university this comes from the grid,
which is unreliable. During this project, a PV installation will be built at the university to provide a
reliable energy source.

So far, the small aquaponic systems were imported from South-Africa, this makes them expensive. If
some time remains, we will look at options together with the foundation to implement this system
locally: finding the right materials for the aquaponic systems on local markets so the smaller farmers
could benefit from the system as well. This would reduce the price of this system and make it
economically viable.

At the university they are also building a larger aquaponic set up for research purposes on a larger
scale. This set up uses multiple pumps and aeration pumps. To make sure there is a reliable energy
source, a backup PV system will be designed for the university as well to complement the grid.

Currently the professor of the university who is in charge of this project, Dr Ibrahim Toko, is still
looking for a way to provide sufficient funding for this project.

Ann-Sofie Van Nevel

Student

Zeno Verboven

Student

Margot Verbinnen

Student

Federico Brinchilin

Coach

Steven De Baerdemaeker

Coach

Tom De Bruyn

Technology Manager

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