Remote Aquaponics During The Lockdown in Amman, Jordan

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By Jonathan Reyes & Daniel Robards
Aquaponics AI — Amman, Jordan

Jordan has made international news regarding the swift and extreme lockdown of international travel, businesses and curfews. This means no driving, no stores are allowed to open, a complete shutdown of the supply chain. We were officially at home with a farm that needed us. This swift lockdown had caused us to think creatively about remotely managing our system. Permit requests were difficult to obtain due to the swiftness of the decisions and various infrastructural challenges. This forced us to remotely train a local farmer in Arabic using only WhatsApp, video cameras and some sensors we had installed.

Unfortunately, we had a massacre with the fish as they had just started showing symptoms of a fungus from transport/environmental stress. We couldn’t travel there to salt them and couldn’t explain it quick enough to avoid deaths. However, this challenge helped us really communicate aquaponics to our farmer and he now runs the system by himself. It was honestly trial by fire and he sends us daily photos of him being super excited to see the growth. He is also very impressed with the volume and cleanliness in the root systems of the DWC rafts.

So while we wish we were out there to see our strawberries start to grow, our mint go “gangbusta” and tomatoes flourish, we are still very pleased to see a local take over the system and be excited about the potential.

Before lockdown we managed to harvest hundreds of leafy greens and give them out. Three weeks into the quarantine we are still getting feedback from people saying they are still getting fresh lettuce (we had provided live-root plants). So while some produce was rotting in the fields and never made it to the homes, others were experiencing beautiful fresh produce that had been started in an aquaponic farm and was sitting at home in a glass of water.

This is why we are pushing rooftop farms at Tulua (https://tulua.io) and empowerment through technology at Aquaponics AI (https://aquaponics.ai). We truly love aquaponics and want to see everyone doing it.

Aquaponics AI is an Affiliate Member of the Aquaponics Association

 

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