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Farmers Guardian

First pilot aquaponic farm at Scotland’s Rural College

News20 Jul 2019 Alice Dyer

Scotland’s Rural College Innovation Hub is supporting a new business looking to revolutionise crop production in urban areas.

The Aquaponics Garden is working with SRUC to develop a closed-loop farming method where trout waste fertilises food and non-food crops all year-round.

The technology aims to reduce food miles and the impact of food production on the environment by developing new self-sustaining technology to grow crops in urban areas.

By harnessing naturally occurring bacteria, the system will convert fish waste into nutrients for the plants. This recirculating ecosystem means up to 95% less water is used and no need to use chemical fertilisers.

Dominic Gammon and Leia Kennedy, the team behind the Aquaponics Garden, will build the first ‘pilot’ test farm at the SRUC Elmwood Campus in Fife.

The Aquaponics Garden is the first ‘spin-in company’ to join the SRUC Incubator programme. The Incubator programme helps new businesses take their first steps towards testable products and services and is part of SRUC’s innovation hub.

As well as space to develop their system, SRUC is providing the Aquaponics Garden with access to other SRUC researchers and business mentoring services.

Mr Gammon and Ms Kennedy says: “We want to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of food production, as well as improve food security by bringing sustainable farming technology that overcomes seasonality to towns and cities as well as remote locations.

“We are building a space that encourages research into sustainable aquaponics technology and we are excited to collaborate with other local start-ups and researchers on this mission.

“We are only a year into our journey, but we are excited to be working with SRUC to develop a working prototype that will make a positive impact on the Scottish economy.”


Teresa Shutter, head of SRUC’s Innovation Hub says: “The Aquaponics Garden shares our values to develop new ideas that will disrupt the agriculture sector and they are a great fit for our first ‘spin-in’ company.

“We are on a journey to become a 21st century rural enterprise university and as part of this vision we are looking to work with many more start-ups like The Aquaponics Garden.”

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