Kenya: Help agtech to improve local production through aquaponics

Vihiga County, Kenya has a growing population in a tropical climate with limited resources which are becoming more strained with their increasing population and changes in their climate. 62% of the population is living in poverty. An aquaponics system has been implemented by Treefrog Aquagric to minimize the amount of land and water required to maximize food production for their community. Aquaponics systems utilize the waste from fish to feed plants, which in turn purify the water for the fish.

The Innovative Global Solutions (IGS) enterprise will be traveling to Kenya in May 2022 to implement a nutrient management system to help improve the aquaponics system. These improvements will help make the system more reliable, and in turn supply more food for the community.

Project description 
IGS has been sponsored by Treefrog Aquagric since 2021 to help improve the aquaponics system located in Vihiga County, Kenya. The objective of this project is to increase efficiency, functionality, and viability, by minimizing waste while maximizing produce.

The current aquaponics project has been suffering from increasing ammonia levels and low oxygen levels in the pond, which could create an unhealthy environment for the fish. IGS has spent the last year innovating a feedback system that detects low dissolved oxygen in the water and turns on an aeration device to bring levels back to a healthy point. The advisors for IGS are Dr. Nathan Manser and Dr. Radheshyam Tewari.

Meet the researchers
Cynthia Wurtz
Cynthia is a 4th-year mechanical engineering student at Michigan Technological University. For Innovative Global Solutions, she is a member of the aquaponics team working with nutrient management and aerator design. Cynthia is also the team lead of the fundraising committee.

Nathan Manser
I am a Professor of Practice in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences. I teach courses related to mining methodology, materials handling, groundwater engineering, the environmental impacts of mining, and mine design. I have research interests in the application of biotechnologies to the mineral extraction industry to promote zero-emission mining.

For more information:
Innovative Global Solutions
https://igs.enterprise.mtu.edu 
 


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