Felicia D. earns INMED Aquaponics certification
Dear Valued Supporter:
Agriculture has been an integral part of the Jamaican economy, and for many years, local agriculture accounted for most of the food consumed in the country. As climate change disrupts the food supply and production on the island, INMED Aquaponics® is leading the charge to assist farmers in implementing aquaponics systems to ensure sustainable livelihoods and food security for local communities.
One such farmer is Vanessa G. from Manchester. She was previously involved in livestock farming but decided to focus on fish farming—a long-time interest. She had the basic knowledge of the process as well as some equipment to start on this new venture and reached out to the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) for technical guidance. RADA connected her to the Senior Regional Technical Officer at INMED Caribbean, who explained the benefits of aquaponics and INMED’s free training program for farmers.
“I decided to go through the training, because after I received the initial information from the INMED team, I wanted to learn more,” says Vanessa. In addition to learning how aquaponics is climate resilient, less labor intensive and yields significantly higher harvests than traditional farming year-round, she also was impressed with the environmental benefits.
“Because aquaponics doesn’t use dirt, there is no need for certain herbicides, fertilizers and chemicals,” says Vanessa. “The fish provides most of the nutrients you need for your system.”
She was one of the first to achieve free online certification in INMED Aquaponics® and built her own backyard aquaponics system under the guidance of INMED Caribbean’s technical team. “The great thing about INMED Aquaponics is that the system is scalable, and you can move at your own pace,” she notes. “You can start small with just one tank and then you can build your system and increase as you see fit.”
Vanessa already had fish tanks and some of equipment, which helped reduce cost. And because INMED’s systems are constructed of locally available materials and can be solar powered, construction costs are affordable. “INMED’s guidance through the process of setting up my system was extremely valuable,” she says.
There are many success stories of farmers who have taken the aquaponics plunge in Jamaica and are now producing enough vegetables to supply their families and sell for extra income. Still others are in various stages of implementation. One such farmer is Felicia D., also from Manchester. She found INMED Caribbean while researching aquaponics online. Felicia has always been interested in farming and wants to contribute to the Vision 2030 strategy for food security. She is building out her commercial aquaponics system with the assistance of a neighbor who has a thriving hydroponics system.
Felicia completed the INMED Aquaponics® training and is in the process of getting her system up and running. "INMED Caribbean has been great during this process,” she says. “They have helped me with any issue I’ve faced while sorting everything out. INMED also mentored and coached us through the financing process and was with us the entire journey.” INMED Caribbean also has trained RADA agents across the island to provide ongoing technical assistance to farmers when they need it.
Lorna S., a RADA Senior Livestock Parish Officer for Manchester, recommends INMED’s aquaponics training for all farmers interested in fish farming and vegetable production. She was one of the first RADA agents to be trained in INMED Aquaponics in 2018. “You can produce fish and vegetables simultaneously, and you can set a higher price for the vegetables since they don’t contain harmful pesticides,” she says. “And because you can do aquaponics in smaller spaces, it’s a new way of rearing fish without having a pond. I always tell people about INMED Aquaponics and highly recommend the training.”
Thanks to your generous support, INMED Caribbean is equipping women in a climate-vulnerable region how to strengthen their food security, climate adaptation, livelihoods and self-reliance through INMED Aquaonics®. Learn more at https://inmedcaribbean.org.
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The INMED Caribbean Team
Vanessa G. tends her backyard aquaponics system
Farmers get hands-on technical + business training
Women see aquaponics as a path to self-reliance
Trained RADA agents offer ongoing tech support