Lappies: Communal food Production

Lappies: Communal food Production

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The project aims at the sustainable community-based implementation of modular smart solar aquaponics systems. Through field validation, the project will: 1. stimulate and facilitate the adoption of the technology; 2. deliver a step-by-step guide to design, implement and monitor the community-based embedment of modular smart aquaponics systems as a methodology to strengthen the micro-economic activity in the green economy and climate change adaptation of South Africa. As an innovative integrated technological concept, the aquaponics system will contribute to: 1. climate-smart agriculture; 2. ecosystem-based adaptation; 3. agricultural extension; 4. community-based adaptation; 5. research and development. In gaining community embedment experience, the project will contribute to ICT smart agriculture, communities’ human, social, knowledge and build capital. It is expected that this will spontaneously lead to community-based business development, enhancing sustainable economic and social impact, equity and fairness, and food security in support of climate-change adaptation.

Overall Objective

Deliver a field-validated framework (including a roll-out roadmap, handbook and project toolkit) as a step-by-step guide to design, implement and monitor the community-based embedment of (urban) modular aquaponics systems as a means to strengthen the micro-economic activity in the green economy and climate change adaptation of South Africa, more specifically:

  • Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) - Making agricultural management more intelligent by integrating digital technologies with agricultural knowledge and experience in support of a more sustainable, effective and efficient food production and security.
  • Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) – Integrate climate-proof sustainable infrastructure development and planning in support of human  settlement development in rural communities to enhance resilience and support livelihoods and health.
  • Agricultural extension - Building and expanding capacity in extension support, especially for small-scale, smallholder and commercial farmers, through the introduction of CSA facilitating knowledge generation, documentation and sharing.
  • Community-based adaptation – Mobilising all stakeholders concerned, i.e. research organisations, industry, government and local communities, in building the adaptive capacity of individuals and rural communities through networking and sharing in order to
    reduce the impact of climate change specifically on food production, nutrition, vector-borne disease and health.

Research and development – Integrating the concept of (urban) modular aquaponics as a “bio-indicator” in combination with an innovative malaria surveillance and elimination system for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on climate change and malaria incidence.

Project Specific Objectives

Through its specific objectives the project aims to address the key problems around food security and thereby contributing to:
Sustaining ecosystems and using natural resources efficiently – Local community based implementation of 50 small and 2 semi-commercial renewable eco-friendly aquaponics systems.

ICT Smart Agriculture – Developing of an ICT solution to monitor (smart metering) operational efficiency, capture data and descriptive and deep learning analytics, i.e.: development of an aquaponics mobile app, a data warehouse, and an IT learning platform.

Communities’ human capital – At least 480 community members (mainly female) will be trained (20 per month over a 3-year period) in a local training centre (existing CLCs or hosted by partners) by a local female community manager, on how to operate, maintain, and monitor the aquaponics system; providing the communities with food security and improved nutrition, and the possibility to create micro economic value.
Communities’ social capital – Uplifting the role of (elderly) woman in enhancing agricultural productivity in support of food security, strengthening relationships between stakeholders (community bonding) e.g. families, businesses, and social groups.

Communities’ build capital – Building of production infrastructure consisting of 25 small and 1 semi-commercial sustainable aquaponics system in each of the 2 communities.
Economic and social impact – Enhancing entrepreneurial activity, business and job creation leading to poverty reduction and healthy livelihood, i.e.:

  • Business: it is estimated that: 1. 20% of the installed small aquaponics systems will lead to woman doing business with the concept of a direct shop (e.g. La Pieus Direct); 2. the 2 semi-commercial aquaponics systems will lead to direct job creation and micro economic activity.
  • Vector-born disease: installing on all the 52 aquaponics systems the Lumin8 system to monitor and combat Malaria.

Equity and fairness – Within the current communities enhancing the role of woman in training, the role of woman as caretakers for future generations. 2 locally employed female community managers are responsible for the training, implementation and monitoring of the systems in the communities.
Societal impact –Awareness, know-how, and impact is disseminated through different channels, e.g. website, e-learning platform, and public address.
Building community’s knowledge capital – The knowledge created is used in support of operational efficiency, optimisation, learning, and roll-out guidance of the smart modular aquaponics system by a PhD student.

Basic Conditions for development

The project aims at a broad inclusion of all in the economy, focusing on a maximum participation of African disadvantaged woman in the implementation and the diffusion of smart aquaponics food security system to communities where access to healthy food and food capacity is limited.

Good governance is an essential prerequisite to the successful implementation of the project. Project governance will be based upon the concept of the partnering cycle and managed according to the quality management governance principles of Belgium Campus ITversity.
The partners involved with the operational implementation of the project are selected on the basis of a certain governance maturity and experience in the implementation of sustainable community-based projects and programmes.


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