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Home Harvest Money Expo Urban Greens Brings Aquaponics To Ugandans

Urban Greens Brings Aquaponics To Ugandans

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Andrew Arinaitwe

Photos by Eddie Ssejoba

A Dutch farmer and entrepreneur, Peter Muisman, the founder of Urban Greens, who has lived in Uganda for more than a decade, has introduced a rare aquaponic system that can help produce organic food in the challenging urban setting of Kampala. Aqua means water, and ponics means plants.
According to Muisman, who has put up an exhibition table at the Kololo grounds at the Harvest Money Expo 2024, he understands the challenging setup of Kampala and believes the new product, which is supported by solar, can transform and simplify urban agricultural farming.

An Aquaponics system at the show

“Our system uses fish waste as nutrients for the plants (mainly vegetables),” Muisman explained to a curious crowd that was wondering how water can grow crops. The exhibition, which has attracted thousands, kicked off this Friday and will continue until Sunday, February 25, with a focus on how to harness opportunities in the agricultural sector and practice farming as a business. With support from Kingdom of the Netherlands, Techno Serve, Tunga Nutrition, Engsol Engineering Solutions, National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), dfcu Bank, Uganda Investment Authority, Uganda Warehouse Receipt system Authority, Pepsi, State House Uganda, AKVO International, MAAIF, PSFU and Korean development agency – KOICA, the expo is a must attend.

Statistics from the Government of Uganda indicate that at least 70% of Uganda’s population is highly engaged in agriculture, for both subsistence and commercial purposes. One by one, we noticed that the aquaponic system had no room for soil, but only relied on water to sustain the plants, which are grown organically.

Ambrose Kamyuka, an agricultural engineer with Urban Greens, said that the Aqua Ponic System is a closed-loop system that allows water to go through purification into the various pipes and back into the fishing tank. “The system has a sensor that measures the amount of nutrients a plant consumes from the moving water, and whether the time it is sucking out nutrients from the water is sufficient,” Kamyuka told the crowd, which was made up of middle-aged and elderly people who saw an opportunity to grow vegetables for home and commercial purposes. According to Kamyuka, the system comes with three tanks that can accommodate various growth stages of the fish for home consumption and commercial purposes. “The bottle cups you see inside help trap organisms that convert ammonia into nitrates,” Kamyuka said.

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