UWS project aims to address food poverty in Rwanda

Researchers from the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) are helping Rwandan farmers to improve their livelihoods and overall nutrition in the country through a ground-breaking new aquaponics research project. The project aims to find an environmentally sustainable way to increase fish and crop productivity in a country where over a third of the population experiences food insecurity.

The project is based on a solar-powered aquaponic solution which means that nutrient-rich water from raising fish in tanks provides a natural fertiliser for plants, while the plants in turn help to purify the water for the fish as part of a wider crop health monitoring system.

This careful balance significantly increases growth for both fish and crops without the need for pesticides, or access to rain or farm land, resulting in an environmentally sustainable solution where higher quality organic standards are achieved.

The new farmers who will be involved in the pilot project will be given aquaponic starter kits, seeds, and special training that will help them to become economically independent over time. Overall, this solution improves the availability and accessibility to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in Rwanda and has scope to reach 80,000 farmers across 2,000 farms in the country.