Currently, commercially available aquaponics systems fall into two categories: the affordable yet small and the large yet prohibitively expensive. The Oasis is the first aquaponics system which is both low cost and large capacity. How do we achieve this? Traditional systems are stacked with the grow beds elevated above the fish tank, which requires the use of many expensive rigid materials to support the weight of the beds. By using an alternative pumping scheme, we are able to un-stack the system, which allows us to construct it from light, flexible, low-cost materials.
Developing world farmers subsist on diets based primarily on grain. This incomplete nutrition is especially troublesome to children, and can result in wasting, stunting and developmental delays which contribute to a lifetime achievement gap. The Oasis allows a family to supplement their diet with protein and micro-nutrient rich fish and vegetables produced at a fraction of the cost and with significant water savings compared to traditional methods.
What I Will Do With $5,000
We have successfully piloted aquaponics in rural El Salvador using previous models of the system. We will use the $5,000 to construct 30 units of the current model and transport them to El Salvador for piloting.