Firm introduces aquaponics to promote sustainable farming
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
A BRUNEIAN agrotechnology company is set to introduce an easy, affordable and accessible way of farming to encourage families to grow their own food.
Iffah Billah Hj Junaidi, owner of BfB, said her firm will introduce aquaponics in Brunei to promote sustainable farming and food security.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Farmers and Fishermen Day Exhibition yesterday, she explained that aquaponics refers to a combination of growing plants and aquatic species in water, such as fish and prawns.
The owner said this would make growing food easier because one does not need to worry about soil or fertilisers. “We want to simplify the farming process, move it away from farms back to our homes,” Iffah Billah said. “(The people) can choose how big or small they want their farms to be.”
She said people can grow fruits or vegetables in outdoor ponds, in an aquarium inside the house or even grow flowers on their desks.
“By growing their own food, we would like people to be aware of what they eat,” she said, adding that during emergencies or natural disasters, families would still be able to get food through their aquaponics garden.
The owner said the company is collaborating with government agencies to achieve self-sustainability in the nation by getting more families to grow their food.
BfB has been given one hectare of land on Jalan Lampaki at Kg Mulaut from the Ministry of Industry and Primary resources to carry out its farming, and also plans to open a factory in Serasa where they will install an aquaponics garden on the rooftop.
According to the owner, the fac-tory will be the first privately-owned green factory certified with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification from the United States Green Building Council. She said BfB is eyeing to bring in aquapo-nics “in the next few months”.
The company is also looking at education as a way to get more children interested in farming and start their own garden from an early age.
“Children need to be taught the importance of food sustainability early, and be educated on how they can help,” said Iffah Billah.
“An aquaphonics garden will be easy for the children to practise because it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.”
She said aquaponics is not only used for growing plants, but people can also rear fishes or prawns in the ponds or aquariums. The fishes and prawns are important to aquaponics “because we are not growing the plant in soil, the waste that the fishes or prawns secrete will act as fertilisers and provide the plants with the required nutrients”, she said.
Since the opening of the Farmers and Fisherman’s day exhibition, Iffah Billah reported that the company has received a lot of positive public response.
She said BfB will start selling the patented equipment they are using for their aquaponics garden to the public soon and would help install outdoor ponds for those who are interested.
The week-long Farmers and Fishermen Day Exhibition is taking place at the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood.
The Brunei Times