Aquaponics – securing availability of sustainably produced fish and vegetable foods in urban and peri-urban areas of African cities

Last changed: 25 October 2023

Global food security is characterized by four major distinctions, namely food availability, physical and economic access to food, food utilization and food stability. As not only food quantity but also food quality is essential to public health, high yielding production systems encouraging production of both animal protein and fish lipids as well as high value horticultural produce high in fibre, minerals and bioactive compounds are highly interesting. One potential system approach is displayed by aquaponic (AP) systems, integrating fish and seafood rearing with production of horticultural produce. Such engineered systems also meet demands opposed by some of the grand global challenges, such as global population growth, urbanization, global climate change and limited access to resources for agricultural activities (e.g. water and land use) and sustainability.

The project team consisted of Swedish and Ethiopian researchers, with expertise in horticulture, fishery, microbiology, food safety and environmental science.

The goal of the project was to create a basis for optimized co-production system for fish and horticultural produce (vegetables, berries).

A concept-based approach was used in order to elaborate on resource efficient and safe AP systems. Gaps of knowledge were identified in order to optimize AP both with respect to fish and horticultural produce yield as well as with respect to food safety and environmental impacts.

The project was funded by the UD15-program of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Project leader: Beatrix Alsanius


Alsanius BW. 2014. Sustainable systems for integrated fish and vegetable production – new perspectives on aquaponics. In: Glynn C, Planting M (eds) The SLU Global Food Security Research and capacity development program 2012-2014. SLU- Global Report 2014:6. Pp. 60-65. ISBN: 978-91-576-9255-9.