Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture in a recirculating system and hydroponics (the soil-less cultivation of plants). The plant crop utilise the waste (nutrients) released by the farmed fish to grow hydroponically and the crops in turn purify the water for reuse by the fish or other aquatic creatures. Simply put, aquaponics is growing fish and plants together.
START – UP COSTS
The aquaponic tunnel system will cost anything between R300 000 – R500000 to erect. However, the running and maintenance costs are relatively low. Only one manager and a laborer is needed. Plants and fish are produced from the same fish feed, and the system requires only 1.62kw of electricity, excluding heating costs. A 3.3kw heat pump can be installed, but will only be used during winter times. Water usage is relatively low at about 2000L per week in summer and approximately half of that in winter. Little space is needed to erect a facility.
IS AQUAPONICS APPROPRIATE TO THE SA MARKET?
The SA climate suits this type of farming, thanks to high average solar energy and appropriate mean temperatures. The challenge of relatively mild local winters can be met with low energy-requirement heat pumps to maintain aquaculture tank temperatures. The development of ever-cheaper solar power with storage for small systems will effectively benefit the agro- industry, particularly smaller-scale operations.
IS AQUAPONICS ORGANIC?
Aquaponics is totally organic. The Aquaponics process is a natural interaction between fish and the plants that produces no toxic waste, and does not use any chemical fertilizers or nutrients. Both the plants and the fish contribute to the cycling process of Aquaponics, with the grower using this interaction to their benefit – the fish provide the nutrients for the plants and the plants filter the water so that the fish are able to live.Natural chemicals and the fish food are the only additives to the aquaponics system.
DOES AQUAPONICS NEED A GREENHOUSE?
A greenhouse is not an essential part of an aquaponics system, although it provides enormous protection for the system compared to being exposed to the elements (rain, hail, wind etc). If you live in an area where it gets cold during winter, a greenhouse is needed for the protection of the fish and plants during the colder months. Aquaponics systems can also be set up indoors, using grow lights over the plants instead of using sunlight. However, this system uses more power than a greenhouse system due to the cost of running the lights.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AQUAPONICS?
Reduced water use.
Reduced chemical use.
Reduces pesticides use when set up in a greenhouse.
Reduces erosion by eliminating the need to plough the soil.
Reducing running costs compared to conventional horticultural farming.
Can produce fish and plants for the family/grower all year round, using a greenhouse.
TO ENABLE YOU TO SET UP A AQUAPONICS FARMING SYSTEM YOU WILL NEED A PROFESSIONAL AND BANKABLE FARM BUSINESS PLAN.
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The special events industry has grown enormously during the past decade. According to resent research conducted by Dr. Joe Goldblatt (Certified Special Events Professional) spending for special events worldwide is $500 billion annually. “Suffice it is to say, the market is large enough to support and sustain your endeavor”, says Goldblatt. If you’re working in one special events area, there are many directions in you can expand. If you’re just entering the profession of special events, there is a lucrative market awaiting you on many fonts.
WHAT IS EVENT PLANNING?
This question actually breaks down into 2 questions: What kind of events are we talking about? and what is event planning? Generally speaking, special events occur for the following purposes:-
Celebrations – fairs, parades, weddings, reunions, birthdays, anniversaries.
Education – conferences, meetings, graduations.
Promotions – product launches, political rallies, fashion shows.
Commemorations – memorials, civic events.
This list isn’t an exhaustive one, but as the examples illustrate, special events may be business related, purely social or somewhere in between. Second Question: What is event planning? Planners of an event may handle any or all of the following tasks related to that event:-
Creating an event design.
Finding a site.
Arranging for food, decor and entertainment.
Planning transportation to and from the event.
Sending invitations to attendees.
Arranging any necessary accommodations for attendees.
Coordinating the activities of event personnel.
Supervising at the site.
Conducting evaluations of the event.
WHY DO PEOPLE HIRE EVENT PLANNERS?
The question has a simple answer: Individuals often find they lack the expertise and time to plan events themselves. Independent planners can step in and give these special events the attention they deserve.
Broadly speaking, there are two markets for event planning services: Corporate and Social. The term corporate includes not only companies but also charities and non-profit organizations. Charities and non-profit organizations host gala fundraisers, receptions and athletic competitions, among other events, to expand their public support base and to raise funds.
Social events include weddings, birthdays, anniversary parties, sweet 16 parties, children’s parties, reunions and so on. You may decide to handle all of these events or just specialize in one of more of them. The market for social events, especially birthdays and anniversaries, is expected to continue to increase over the next few years, as baby boomers mature. This group has children getting married, parents celebrating golden anniversaries, and their own silver wedding anniversaries to commemorate.
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE OR NEED A PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS PLAN TO ENABLE YOU TO FIND SUITABLE FUNDING CONTACT US NOW: (27)84 583 3143 or email@example.com FOR PROFESSIONAL HELP AND SUPPORT.
Tunnel farming has been around in South Africa for almost 4 decades. In the 70’s it was found that vegetables could be successfully grown without soil by using nutrient based solutions. Furthermore, great success was achieved by covering the plants with a plastic-clad semi-circular structure, dubbed a “tunnel”.
Tunnels may also be called, high hoops, high tunnels or poly tunnels. Tunnels are some times confused with “greenhouses”. The key difference is that tunnels are not heated and provide less climate control and are also less expensive. In South Africa, heating is not as critical as other climates such as in European countries. This immediately gives tunnel farming a competitive advantage over establishment costs.
There are many advantages to using this method of cultivating plants. The plants are grown in plastic tunnels in a growth medium other than natural soil. The plants get a constant flow of nutrients as they are dissolved in the irrigated water system thus creating large and high quality crops.
ADVANTAGES OF TUNNEL FARMING:-
High quality products.
No soil is needed.
Plants get a constant supply of nutrients through an automatic irrigation system.
Able to produce larger yields of vegetables on a small area of land.
Soil borne diseases are reduced or eliminated.
ADVANTAGES OF VEGETABLE PRODUCTION:-
* Soil preparation and weeding is reduced or eliminated.
* One does not need good soil to grow vegetables.
* Water is used efficiently.
* Pollution of soil with unused nutrients is greatly reduced.
* It is possible to produce very high yields of vegetables on a small area because an environment optimal for plant growth is created. All the nutrients add water that the plants need, are available at all times.
The most important issues to consider before constructing a tunnel are the location, available budget and potential crops. When considering where to locate your first tunnel, it is wise to plan for expansion. Also consider the market area and the number of plants you expect to grow. Include space for roadways, parking lots, packaging, storage and sales.
Other considerations include orientation, airflow, shading, windbreaks,weeds, drainage and other pests. Make sure to consider how irrigation and power will be delivered to the tunnel, including during winter months if winter production is intended.
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Garlic (Allium sativum) is a hardy crop that can survive low winter temperatures. While temperature and day length influence bulb formation, this is to a lesser extent than demonstrated by onions. Most conditions suitable for onion production also apply to garlic cultivation, with the ideal growth temperatures between 13oC and 24oC.
The market is not just South Africa. Exporters can handle everything produced here for export to Germany, Australia etc, especially large cloves which travel well and have long shelf- lives. Locally, it can be sold to traders either whole, chopped, minced or flaked. Great strides have been made in the field of medicine and garlic is featuring in antiseptics and pain killing drugs. Normal garlic consumption has increased tremendously over the last few years.
Space the divided cloves 8cm to 15cm apart in rows 30cm to 40cm apart. Plant the cloves approximately 50mm deep in raised beds or on level ground, by hand or mechanically. While the ideal planting date varies from one area to another, the general recommendation in South Africa is from February to May.
Garlic is successful under furrow, sprinkler, or drip irrigation. Its relatively shallow root system makes it sensitive to moisture stress throughout the growing season. While soil type determines the frequency of irrigation, it does not affect the total amount of water needed, and by using mulch will reduce moisture less from the soil surface.
Initially, in order to plant 10 000 cloves, approximately 600m2 is required. The yield from this land should be approximately 15tons/hectare, depending on the soil type, local conditions etc. Sandy soil makes for easier weeding, growth and harvesting, but any type will produce a good crop should the right additives, fertilizer etc be employed.
This will vary according to the soil type. A reasonable borehole will suffice.
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WHAT IS ORGANIC FARMING?
Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.
Examples of organic farming methods include:
* Rotating crops between fields. This helps keep pests from building up and improves soil fertility.
* Planting selected herbs and flowers to attract beneficial insects which ward off unwanted pests.
* Using biological insecticides and make use of pests natural predators to control pest populations.
Organic farming produces nutrient rich, fertile soil which nourishes the plants. Keeping chemicals off the land protects water quality and wild life.
Organic animal suppliers have strict protocols that include treating their cattle humanely and allowing them to mature naturally. They are grazed naturally in a free – range environment minimizing stress and producing high quality meat that is free from contaminants. It costs more to produce as animals grow more slowly on natural grazing., hence more land is needed and higher interest costs are incurred. The certified farm has to produce 90% of the feed on the farm. “Certified Organic Meat” is a guarantee that meat has been produced free from any additions such as chemicals, antibiotics and hormones, and kept separate in the supply chain to the consumer. As only natural, biodegradable products are used, water and the environment become cleaner. Farmers and their workers enjoy healthier working conditions.
The hazards for human health of consuming products contaminated by harmful pesticides include increased risks of cancer, reproductive problems and neurological damage. Organically grown produce on the other hand is free of chemical residues, has a much higher vitamin and mineral content and is usually more flavorsome (which is why many top restaurants prefer to use organic ingredients.
A certified organic product means that the produce and the farming process has been inspected over a period by an independent specialist certification agency to verify organic authenticity to the consumer. This process normally takes place over a time frame of about 3 years.
Look for the certification seal or name of the certification agency label. When you see this claim, it means:-
No harmful chemicals have been applied for at least 3 years.
The farmer and processor have annual certification inspections.
They have kept detailed records of their practices and have a recorded audit trail.
They use ecologically-friendly methods and substances to improve the soil and control pests.
DO YOU NEED MORE INFORMATION OR HELP WITH A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIC FARMING BUSINESS PLAN – CONTACT US NOW AT: 084 583 3143 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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