SYANGJA, Feb 27: A farmer of Syangja district has successfully using aquaponics system to grow different vegetables.
Om Thapa, 48, of Galyang Municipality-3 has started vegetable farming using aquaponics system.
According to experts, aquaponics combines aquaculture and hydroponics. Aquaculture efficiently farms fish species, while hydroponics ensures controlled use of water and nutrients in plant cultivation. Water saturated with nutrient-rich fish excreta from aquaculture tanks is used in plant breeding before being circulated back.
Thapa has built a tunnel on the terrace of his three-storied house to grow vegetables using aquaponics system. He has used stones, PVC pipe and thermocol inside the tunnel to grow different vegetables. While he is growing garlic, cucumber, tomatoes, carrot, onion and coriander on stones, spinach, chilly, strawberry, tomatoes, potatoes and mint and tomatoes have been cultivated in PVC pipe. Likewise, broccoli, cauliflower and potatoes have been grown in thermocols.
Since aquaponics farming requires 24-hour watering, Thapa has installed two motors to pump water from ground floor to terrace. Each motor pumps water for 12 hours, Thapa told Republica. He has made built underground tanks in the basement of his house where he is growing five varieties of fish -- Rohu, Naini, Silver, Common and Carp.
According to Thapa, 500 gram of fish excreta helps to grow five plants.
The young farmer learnt about aquaponics while staying in South Korea. When he returned
Thapa knew about aquaponics system through YouTube while he was staying in South Korea. Four years ago, he returned to Nepal and started farming using new techniques.
“I have not taken any training. I learnt about aquaponics from YouTube and started vegetables farming accordingly,” he said, adding that he has invested Rs 1 million in the project.
Stating that aquaponics system can be effective in Nepal, Thapa urged the government to create suitable environment for farmers to do something in the agricultural sector. “The government should focus on creating an environment to work. Distribution of grants alone won't be of any help,” he said, adding that the government should bring programs to build agricultural produce collection centers and help farmers in marketing of their products.