A food bank in Mississauga aims to tackle the issue of feeding a growing population by becoming the first to provide fresh produce to local people through its new aquaponics farm. The food bank partnered with the University of Wisconsin to harvest fresh leafy greens and fish for the community all year round. Alongside the hopes of harvesting 2,000 leafy greens and 215 pounds of Tilapia, the food bank also aspires to educate the communities’ young children on sustainable food production through its education centre.
Our global population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 with The World Bank stating that we need to produce 50% more food to meet its demands.
Hydroponics is the process of growing plants in a soil-less environment whilst aquaculture incorporates fish farming. When combined (aquaponics), the system enables the waste from its resident fish to form a nutrient-rich water to feed plants without soil. The farms water is in a continuous cycle, which means there is no added water to the process. This offers a sustainable means to cultivate crops where farmland is not available. Whilst the food bank endeavours to provide sought after space for local communities to grow and source fresh food, it also strives to counter issues of inequality. Out of Mississauga’s 750,000 population, 182,000 people live below the poverty line. The new aquaponics farm supplies a healthy and sustainable diet to those struggling to afford fresh locally sourced food in the city.
As we head for 10 billion, is this the answer to cultivating fresh food in our cities?