Beyond2020, the UAE-driven humanitarian initiative, has expanded its reach with its first deployment in Latin America. An estimated 2,000 people in the Yarinacocha district of Ucayali, Peru, are being trained to operate an innovative aquaponics system recently deployed there, which will significantly improve food security for more than 5,000 indigenous people while also preserving the region’s rich biodiversity.

Beyond2020 appointed INMED Partnerships for Children, an international non-profit humanitarian development organization and a 2020 Zayed Sustainability Prize finalist under the Food category, to deploy its commercial-scale aquaponics system (Aquaponics Social Enterprise Model) on the campus of Peru’s largest indigenous teacher training institute, the Center of Excellence of the Bilingual Higher Pedagogical Institute of Yarinacocha (Instituto Superior Pedagógico Bilingüe de Yarinacocha). 

H.E. Mohamed Abdulla Ali Khater Alshamsi, UAE Ambassador to Peru, said: “The Beyond2020 project in Peru offers the indigenous people of Ucayali a sustainable, fully-rounded solution spanning clean energy, food production, and water. It brings long-term social and economic benefits through a focus on promoting knowledge exchange and training that aims to equip the local community with the skills and know-how needed to further advance their economic development. The deployment also notably addresses climate change, not only in terms of the solution itself but also by building community awareness on the power of aquaponics to mitigate its worst effects on indigenous people and beyond.”

The INMED Aquaponics Center combines fish farming (aquaculture) with vegetable production (hydroponics) in a closed circulation system that grows organic vegetables at a production rate ten times higher than traditional crop production while using 90% less water and 75% less energy than conventional, mechanized agriculture. The Center produces food year-round; it is climate resilient and adaptable to any space constraints. The harvests will provide food for the local primary school and surrounding community, increasing the nutritional value of school meals and dietary diversity for students. It is the first aquaponics center in the Peruvian Amazon and the first completely solar-powered facility in the region.

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