Salinity and freshwater scarcity are significant challenges affecting agriculture production worldwide. Sustaining food production in arid and semi-arid regions requires innovative, efficient, and low-cost technologies. Integrated aqua-vegeculture systems (IAVS) are promising technologies for cultivating vegetable crops and rearing fish in a closed-loop system. The system utilizes fish effluents as crop fertilizers and recycles water for increased productivity. Hence, the current study aimed to investigate the response and productivity of kale (Brassica oleracea L.) grown at different brackish water salinities in an IAVS. The greenhouse experiment followed a completely randomized design with three salinity variants (i.e., 3000, 6000, and 9000 ppm) and control (freshwater, 400 ppm) with four replicates per treatment. The study results indicated that kale grown in a greenhouse could tolerate salinity levels of up to 6000 ppm without significantly compromising the plants’ growth, yield, and nutritional composition of leaves. Likewise, rearing Oreochromis niloticus at high water salinities did not negatively impact the water quality and the growth performance, survival, and feed utilization of fish. Overall, cultivating kale and rearing O. niloticus in IAVS in water salinities reaching up to 6000 ppm could be a sustainable agricultural strategy to increase food production in regions affected by freshwater scarcity.
Kimera, F., Mugwanya, M., Dawood, M. et al. Growth response of kale (Brassica oleracea) and Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) under saline aqua-sandponics-vegeculture system. Sci Rep 13, 2427 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-29509-9
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