How is Aquaponics affected by COVID-19?

Aquaponics is one of the sustainable techniques of raising vegetables and fishes. This technique is popular with entrepreneurs, individuals, missions and governments, and educators. Aquaponics is a type of indoor farming that uses minimal water and produces more food. The technique also required less land and labor and offers better nutrition and wellness. It raises fishes in the tank, also known as recirculating aquaculture with no soil plant culture, popularly known as ‘hydroponics’. The nutrient-rich water in aquaponics is basically a natural fertilizer for the plants and these plants purify water for fishes. It sustainably grows fishes and the vegetables to a good number of people and helps generate profit in commercial farming. It is one of the best examples for indoor farming that can be done throughout the year. It offers fresh local food that is free from chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. The indoor farming is ideal to be used at home, commercial areas, schools, and food banks and missions.

The response of COVID-19 on aquaponics is not as good. The entire aquaculture system, associated businesses, and farms have been impacted considerably due to the pandemic. The delivery and supply of the produced food from aquaponics is hampered, leading to lesser demand. Nevertheless, producers are expected to think of more policies that will bring them better profits post-pandemic.

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The global aquaponics market is driven by the factor such as changes in climatic conditions enhancing the growth of aquaponics. Moreover, aquaponics is advantageous over traditional farming methods. The continuously changing energy balance of earth has led to climatic changes that are not favorable for agricultural practice. This further leads to water & food scarcity in some regions. As a result, the demand for alternative agricultural practices, which are more sustainable is on the rise.

The aquaponics farming technique has several advantages over traditional farming practices. Some of the advantages that aquaponics offers over traditional farming are such as requires less water, simulation of the natural ecosystem in a closed container, requires less maintenance and there is no need for fertilizers and fertile lands for performing this farming technique. Hence, aquaponics help in enhancing productivity through minimum input resource requirements. Moreover, aquaponics helps to accelerate the time for crop production. For instance, growing butterhead lettuce varieties take approximately 60 days with traditional farming practices; however, they can be grown in approximately 30 days through aquaponics.

Although aquaponics farming is economic in the long run, its initial setup cost is high. The average cost for materials per unit is low; however, commercial- level set up is expensive, as the system is set up at a large-scale with more number of resources. The high initial investments involved have been restraining market growth to a certain extent.

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The Asia Pacific region is estimated to account for the highest CAGR in the aquaponics market over the forecast period owing to factors such as advancements in technology and rising awareness of organic food among the population. Moreover, countries such as India and China, among other developing countries, have flourishing agriculture sectors.

Some of the prominent players in the needles market include PentairAES, Nelson & Pade Aquaponics, GreenLife Aquaponics, The Aquaponics Source, Endless Food Systems, Symbiotic Aquaponic, Practical Aquaponics, SynergyPonics, The Aquaponics Place LLC, and AquaCal, among others.