Pathways to low‑cost aquaponic systems: defining success factors

The combined effects of anthropogenic and climate change factors have severely impacted the yield from the traditional food production system resulting in food insecurity and other socio-economic problems. The predominant food production systems have been reviewed as unsustainable and environmentally unfriendly; therefore, there is a need to adopt innovative and sustainable food production systems locally and globally.

This article addresses traditional food production challenges by exploring low-cost aquaponics to attain food security and socio-economic development, notably in poor communities. A low-cost aquaponic system was first developed conceptually using the reflective practice approach. Its applicability to sustainable livelihoods and economic development is explored. Subsequently, the critical success factors of low-cost aquaponics were identified. These include infrastructure design, microclimatic environment, human ecology, and sociocultural dynamics.

Due to its integrative and multiple application scenarios ranging from low-tech to high-tech, aquaponics is a complex and unconventional food production system. The reverse scalability to a small scale, the low-cost set-up makes it sustainable in achieving food security and socio-economic development in poor communities.

Read the complete research at

Adeleke, Babatunde & Cassim, Shahida & Taylor, Simon. (2022). Pathways to low‑cost aquaponic systems for sustainable livelihoods and economic development in poor communities: defning critical success factors. Aquaculture International. 10.1007/s10499-022-00865-z. 

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