It’s a very big deal to students at the Carel De Wet Technical High School in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. The beans are among a variety of produce grown in the first commercial-sized aquaponics system installed by INMED Partnerships for Children in South Africa. Sponsored by Air Products, this system has produced fresh food and income for the school since 2012. INMED South Africa’s Adaptive Agriculture experts, Khumbudzo Manyaga and Petrus Tsotetsi, have provided ongoing training to students in the school’s agriculture program on the system’s construction and maintenance. It’s part of INMED’s mission to entice young people back into farming in this region hard hit by global climate change. Students who pass an aquaponics exam at the end of the year receive a certificate from INMED.
Earlier this month, this system was turned over to the school, which is renting it to a local entrepreneur who is interested in developing green methods of farming. Jan Abraham Moolman of Juicy Greens will allow the school to continue using the system as an educational tool and will donate a percentage of produce sales back to the school. It’s a shining example of how INMED’s goal of building healthy children ripples out into the community to spur jobs and innovation.