Bustan Aquaponics is Egypt’s first, and only, commercial aquaponics farm. Motivated by a changing landscape in a post-Mubarak Egypt, and by Egypt’s own water scarcity, Faris Farrag established the farm on the outskirts of Cairo in 2011.
In a country where the water supply comes almost entirely from the Nile and water scarcity is an ever-growing problem, the issue has been compounded by Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam, which Cairo says could further jeopardize the country’s resources. With only 3.6 percent of its land considered agricultural, and 2.8 percent arable, the practice of aquaponics offers a viable alternative that uses 95 percent less water than traditional farming methods.
Aquaponics brings together the growth of fish and plants into one symbiotic system. Fish waste is converted into fertilizer for plants, and plants act as a natural filter for the water that the fish live in. With this sustainable system, Bustan is taking its first steps in the goal to revolutionize agriculture in Egypt.
In the past four years, Farrag’s farm has made quiet progress, now harvesting a wide variety of produce including lettuce, basil, parsley, coriander, Swiss chard, kale, and more, as well as producing tilapia fish. Bustan’s consciously grown produce is also said to address another key problem in Egypt – in that it reduces pollution.
To find out more about the advent of aquaponics in Egypt, watch the video below:
Yara Enany holds a Master’s in TV and Digital Journalism and is a freelance video journalist for The Associated Press in Cairo