Environmental awareness has created increased consumer interest in locally grown sustainable food production financially viable, it has also paved the way to restructure the development path post this global pandemic for a substitute for traditional agriculture. Entrepreneur “Henny Barbolina”, owner and operator of the Nos Kunuku project has been mindful of the fact that Curaçao is in need of environmental policies to protect its fragile agricultural resources, to create jobs and to educate generations about the importance of bringing climate-smart innovations into execution; inspired by his love and passion for growing plants, he knew in his heart that the island must become food self-sufficient.
Born on a Kunuku in Trai Seru (between Brievengat/Groot Kuartier/Matancia and Jongbloed), he finished his studies in Chemistry at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. His first job was as a refinery expert in 1989, however, enchanted by Permaculture (sustainable agriculture ecosystems), he started a farm 10 years ago with so little means, he had back at that time as a hobby, an agriculture small business that offered naturally grown produce minimally processed no hormones or antibiotics or artificial flavor added.
While he was completing his training in farming in Aruba, he got introduced to the Aquaponics system, completely in disbelieve of this new technique he returned home and built his first system successfully, he went to the first Aquaponic training in USA for commercial systems and ended up in embracing this revolutionary technique on his farm. At“Nos Kunuku”project, he utilized his expertise in modern farming, permaculture, regenerative agriculture(a technique that rebuilds the quantity and quality of topsoil, while also restoring local biodiversity)and offered training in modern farming and consultancy in agriculture projects.
The beauty of an aquaponic system is that you can go to a piece of land that is non-plantable, that is not viable for agriculture, yet still you can establish the system and make it work, Aquaponics is an ancient form of cultivation that originated with the “Aztecs” who performed this practice by raising fish alongside crops, they built artificial islands known as “Chinampas” in swamps and shallow lakes and planted them with maize, squash and other plants, canals navigated by canoe surrounded the islands and were used to raise fish, the waste from the fish fell to the bottom of the canals and was collected to fertilize plants.
Read more at Curacao Chronicle (Reina Sankari)