Saturday, August 27, 2011

Aquaponics is the Key to Profitable Urban Farming

Sustainable Economic Development Requires - A PROFIT! 

 In any business, profit is a primary consideration.  If you cannot make a profit, then you cannot stay in business without being subsidized.  In fact many existing aquaponic farms are really not profitable on a daily basis.  Grants and philanthropic support from municipalities and foundations sustain many if not most existing aquaponics operations in America today.

The Family Fish Farms Network consists of experts in agricultural engineering, aquaponics, and  process management.  Family Fish Farms will optimize production so that the goal is not simply to produce fish and veggies, but do do so at a reasonable profit

Aquaponics For Profit Converting from hydroponics to aquaponics and making a profit with Murray Hallam from his latest DVD "Aquaponics Secrets."

As the video presents, the value of the fish as fertilizer is a key factor in the overall profit picture.  Fish grow more slowly than vegetables.  It can take six or seven months to grow a fingerling to a market sized fish of a pound and a half.  Lettuce however will grow to maturity in one month.  The fish provide natural pollution free fertilizer for the veggies.  During the maturation of the fish, seven or eight crops of lettuce can be produced..  We plan to offset the initial seven moth fish growth by adding partially grown fish from existing aquaculture sites. The economics of Tilapia (the most popular fish in America today) and Boston Lettuce, an easy to grow in demand lettuce are shown here.

Aquaponics can grow a wide variety of seafood, not just fish but we import tons of Tilapia from Ecuador and Asia so it is a good production target as our fish will be fresh caught (within hours) while most commercially available fish is not fresh caught.  Our key sales proposition will be FRESH, LOCAL FOOD!  There's no competing with food just hours from being harvested.

Good Environmental Practice is GOOD Business

The Family Fish Farms Network Is Highly Efficient
  • Also, since we do not have to purchase and apply commercial fertilizer (the fish produce the best natural fertilizer possible) we save all of that cost as well.  
  • In addition, we have virtually not shipping costs since we are local.  
  • Finally, we can sell direct to the retail and restaurant's and require not "distributor," that also saves a significant part of the cost of sale.

The profit margins for Tilapia and Lettuce give us sufficient room for a reasonable profit.  However, we see aquaponics as a means to assure food security.  In other words to make certain that there is a locally avaiable supply of fresh food that is not dependent upon imports or large scale agri-business.  Most food we eat is NOT fresh.  For example the average head of lettuce travels 1,500 miles from farm to table.  The provision of food grown locally is the best hedge against a shortage and since this is an indoor growing model we are not dependent upon weather or the seasons.  

Aquaponics Urban Farming is the next generation of Food!

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