Aquaponics: The future of agriculture?

DM

Growing vegetables and fish together in a confined space, and without fertilizers and pesticides. Is this the future of food production? Like a shimmering purple spaceship, the glowing greenhouse stands in the middle of an old dairy factory in an Eindhoven industrial park in the Netherlands. It can’t fly — but, if the founders of the startup Phood Farm have their way, their business will soon take off. They hope the future of agriculture will be birthed here. The method used by the five young founders to grow up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of lettuce per week on an area smaller than a tennis court is called aquaponics — a combination of aquaculture, or fish farming, and hydroponics, which is growing vegetables in water without soil. The two systems together create a highly resource-efficient water and nutrient cycle.

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