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Presented By: Vernon Byrd

Event: 2019 ECHO Asia Agriculture & Community Development Conference (2019-10-02)

According to various reports from the United Nations and many NGOs, Nepal is vulnerable to food insecurity due to natural disaster (flooding, earthquakes), political turmoil (recent border blockade), and seasonal issues with too much or not enough water.  Like elsewhere in the world urbanization has occured rapidly and many people do not have access to soil to grow their own food although many are coming from villages where they farmed.  Furthermore, lack of jobs in Nepal results in a very large portion of young men and women working outside the country, leaving the work at home to primarily young and old and resulting in a reduction of capacity to produce food. Aquaponics (growing fish and vegetables in enriched recycled water) may help empower people without access to soil to grow some of their own food, which would be fresh, free of chemicals, and not subject to extreme weather.  However, this relatively new technology needs to be evaluated to see how sustainable it is, and how much can be produced in small systems initially by urban dweller in Nepal.  This talk will describe the advantages and disadvantages of aquaponics, its potential to produce food for families, and provide opportunities for at least small commercial businesses.  Time will be left for questions and discussion.  One objective is to hear the experience of others in south Asia who are currently using the technology.