Aquaponics have related food and nutrition security benefit that are important for South Africa. The aim of this study was to apply aquaponics decision-making tool to provide potential aquaponics production data and information for South Africa. This study was designed as 2×3×3 factorial study giving 18 interactions. Because aquaponics are the production of fish and crops concurrently, yield production had two levels- fish and crop, fish stocking density had three levels- low, optimum and higher and aquaponics scale of production had 3 levels- hobby, subsistence and commercial scale.
The summary of data of aquaponics variables from the literature was used as optimum level, lower and higher levels were based on experimental design. Yield production (kg) of both fish and plants increased significantly (p<0.05) as fish stocking density was increased. In hobby scale, plants yield was higher than fish yield in all levels of fish stocking density, the plant-fish yield (kg) was 40-33, 80-67 and 150-133, respectively. In subsistence scale, fish-plant yield (kg) was 240-200, 300-267 and 400-333, respectively. In commercial scale, fish-plant yield (kg) was 600-533, 1 100-1 000, 1 500-1 333, respectively. Daily fish feed increased significantly with increase in fish stocking density across all scale of aquaponics production (hobby<subsistence<commercial).
In hobby scale, at low fish stocking, 0.65kg feed produced 1 kg fish, at optimum, 0.65kg feed produced 1 kg fish and at higher fish stocking, 0.37kg feed produced 1 kg fish. In subsistence scale at low fish stocking density, 0.38kg feed produced 1 kg fish, at optimum level, 0.63kg feed produced 1 kg fish and at higher level, 0.65kg feed produced 1 kg fish. In commercial scale, in low fish stocking, 0.64kg feed produced 1 kg fish, at optimum, 0.63kg feed produced 1 kg fish and at higher fish stocking, 0.64kg feed produced 1 kg fish. Plant culture have more yield output than fish culture in all aquaponics scale of production.
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Mchunu, Ntobeko & Lagerwall, Gareth & Senzanje, Aidan. (2022). Aquaponics production simulations using the decision-making tool. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development. 22. 19040-19061. 10.18697/ajfand.106.19860.