Transitioning historically disadvantaged populations from subsistence to commercial agricultural production using climate-smart INMED Aquaponics® to become food-secure and economically self-sufficient.
The INMED Aquaponics® Social Enterprise (INMED ASE) is the latest initiative of INMED Partnerships for Children to address global food security, climate-change adaptation, inclusion, sustainable livelihoods and other intertwined causes of systemic poverty. It builds on INMED’s expertise in climate-smart aquaponics to help vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities, women and youth, achieve food security and self-reliance.
WHY THE INMED ASE?
HOW DOES THE INMED ASE WORK?
An Agro-business Incubator: INMED ASE is an innovative incubator of entrepreneurial agro-enterprises for climate-smart food production. The first INMED ASE hub (or center) is located near Johannesburg, South Africa. It houses two commercial aquaponics systems that will be used for food production, training and research. It also will serve as a consolidation center for aquaponics farmers to sell their harvests at higher market rates as well as purchase inputs, such as seedlings and fingerlings, at wholesale prices.
A Value Chain of Support for Agro-entrepreneurs: What makes the INMED ASE unique is that it is designed to provide the entire value chain of support to help small-scale farmers and traditionally marginalized populations overcome the barriers to entry, sustainability and scale. This support is provided at no cost to participants and includes:
- Technical and business training
- Access to financing
- Links to buyers and markets
- Ongoing technical assistance by INMED-trained agricultural extension agents
- Access to wholesale seedlings, fingerlings and other inputs
- Access to consolidation services
It’s Self-sustaining: For the INMED ASE, sustainability is key, generating revenue from the sale of crops and fish from its own aquaponics systems as well as earning reimbursements for training and consolidation services. Its business model also establishes satellite centers to provide localized training, resources and production to scale the venture nationally. INMED South Africa has already launched satellite centers run by farming cooperatives, schools and communities in Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Free State and Northern Cape provinces.
INMED ASE is made possible in collaboration with these partners. Special thanks to the Sustainable Futures program of Mondelēz Global LLC for providing seed funding to launch the INMED ASE.
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