Antigua and Barbuda yield success with aquaponics

The quiet residential area of Upper Renfrew in St John’s is home to Indies Greens, the island’s only aquaponics farm and training center.

This farm and training facility was established in 2016 to tackle the growing demand for fish products on the twin islands. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) supported the development of training facilities on the Indies Greens farm and funded the building of a training facility.

Aquaponics is becoming increasingly popular, because it can be set up in a wide range of sizes, making it an attractive opportunity for young farmers in Antigua and Barbuda, who may have limited financial resources. Recognizing the need for public-private collaborative efforts, the government made the development of the aquaponics sector a priority and sought technical assistance from the FAO to grow and advance the sector.

The investment in Indies Greens is reaping benefits as the aquaponics farm is producing approximately 24,000lbs of tilapia annually and an estimated 3,500 heads of lettuce per month. The title of “master trainer” was earned by those farmers who completed the training and who can now train other farmers themselves, both in Antigua and Barbuda and across the Caribbean; some of these master trainers have also been able to design and build their own aquaponics systems, through public-private partnerships, which could generate over US$1,000 per month, when in full swing.

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