New aquaponics facility at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

In partnership with the Mondelēz International Foundation (MIF) and Mondelēz South Africa, INMED Partnerships for Children/INMED South Africa today launched their new aquaponics facility at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Guests from government, private sector and local schools were treated to a tour of the facility—one of two commercial-sized aquaponics systems that MIF and INMED are building as part of their Health in Action program.

The facility at NMMU will provide children from primary schools in low-income communities of Port Elizabeth with access to fresh, nutritious produce. INMED has been working in South Africa for more than a decade, where we have pioneered aquaponics production to promote health, nutrition and income generation. A second aquaponics system will provide healthy, nutrient-rich produce to primary schools in the Soweto area. Construction of this system will begin later this year.

Health in Action is a four-year primary school-based wellness program launched in 2015 funded by MIF and implemented by INMED in South Africa. It aims to nurture a sustainable, healthy lifestyle culture in schools and communities to help build a healthier future for South Africa’s children. INMED also works with MIF to implement the award-winning Health in Action program in Brazil.

“Health in Action reaches more than 100,000 primary school children annually aged six to 12 years in 116 schools in 13 at-risk communities in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape,” said Unathi Sihlahla, Program Director of INMED South Africa. “Its three main goals are to ensure school children from disadvantaged communities have access to nutritious food, get enough physical exercise and learn about nutrition through the national school curriculum.”

Adopting sustainable food production practices that conserve natural resources is particularly important at a time when drought has been threatening the water supply and food security in the Nelson Mandela Bay region. Commercial aquaponics systems typically generate crop yields that are up to 10 times higher than equivalent-sized plots that are traditionally cultivated, making aquaponics a desirable tool for economic development, Sihlahla noted.

For more on INMED’s Health in Action program with MIF, visit http://inmed.org/what-we-do/health-and-nutrition/health-in-action-south-africa/.

#aquaponics   #climatechange  #healthinaction  #adaptiveagriculture

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