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Rooftop Aquaponic Systems Bring Sustainable Urban Farming To Saigon

District 12 farmer, Nguyễn Ngọc Khuyến, has adopted a brilliant system to make urban farming more accessible to those with limited spaces.

The system operates by using accumulated fish waste as fertilizer for plants which then filter the water and return fresh water to the fish. The clay soil helps break down the organic materials in the fish waste and coverts them into nutrients the plants can absorb. 

Khuyến told Zing, “The system can easily self operate, but needs about a month of supervision to ensure its stabilization.”

Aquaponics creates a system in which produce can be grown without chemicals in about 15 to 20 days from planting to harvest. The economic benefits are significant as well as it takes only 15kw per month to operate. Fish take a bit longer to mature, obviously, but species such as tilapia can grow up to 5kg within 6 months.

While the original system was set up to occupy around 20 square meters, Khuyến has developed a vertical system only taking only 1 square meter on his rooftop. 

Khuyến has designed and installed almost 1,000 such systems in Saigon already, and while they cost around VND40 million, the health benefits and the long term savings are certainly worth exploring.

Here's a closer look at how these systems work:


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