Aquaponics systems are well suited to the development of food production businesses. In many ways aquaponics systems are not only ethical systems which can feed people in a sustainable way but can also help food producers to turn a profit. The key thing when developing a commercial aquaponics system is to understand the benefits of aquaponics and how all elements of a system can be optimised to allow it to function as a viable business in a capitalist world.
The first thing to think about is the system as a whole. The fewer non-renewable inputs are required to keep the system going, the more sustainable it will be and therefore the more viable it will be as a business venture in the long term. For this reason it is important to choose a system that is as renewables based as possible – all electrical power, for example, should come from alternative energy sources such as solar or wind power, ideally, that power will be generated on site to reduce bills and maximise long-term profits.
An aquaponics system can help you to make the most of all resources at your disposal. Land is a major investment for a profit-making business and an aquaponics system can be a good way to maximise the yield on that land. Likewise, aquaponics systems can be far more water-efficient than other food production methods. In some cases, it may be possible to make the most of natural rainfall or other local water sources to further reduce expenses. In a world where climate change is already beginning to bite, water conservation must be a priority for all businesses moving forward.
Another thing to consider in terms of minimising input and maximising profit is whether the system can be used to provide for the food needs of the fish or other aquatic creatures or whether feed will have to be bought in. A sustainable aquaponics system tries to be as self-sufficient as possible. Worms bred through composting of plant waste/ kitchen waste are one sustainable solution to reduce the cost of keeping aquaculture animals and maximise the profits of an aquaponics business. Other possibilities include growing duckweed or micro-algae such as spirulina to feed fish or to create whole ecosystems that can be more or less self-sustaining with far less input from the business owner.
When it comes to maximising profit in an aquaponics system, it is also important to consider which live components to incorporate in your system and what your yield will actually be. Before choosing which aquatic species and which plants to incorporate in your commercial aquaponics system, it is a good idea to do some market research to discover which will bring the highest profit where you live. Some yields will always be higher value than others but some will depend on the location of a business and the needs and preferences of the local community.
Research is key to the creation of a profit-making aquaponics system though with the right information, almost anyone can use aquaponics to make a profit.
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