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Agriculture offers sustainable alternatives for the production and use of vegetables and fish (28/03/2018)

The Ministry of Water, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries held today a conference on 'Quality and uses of tilapia from aquaponics', in the Integrated Center for Training and Agricultural Experiences (Cifea) Torre Pacheco, aimed at entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector, restaurateurs, catering, technicians of the Autonomous Community, municipal authorities and other interested parties, with the aim of putting value on tilapia as food and its production together with vegetables or aromatic plants.

The initiative is part of a European project on aquaponics, a circular system where aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (growing plants in water) come together.

The Cifea de Torre Pacheco and Molina de Segura participate in this project, together with other training centers in Romania, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Greece and Portugal.

The objective of this project is to combine the production of fish and the hydroponic cultivation of vegetables to take advantage of the synergies of these two systems and achieve an optimization of the resources of both productions, limiting waste.

In this way, a greater environmental sustainability of the system and a reduction in costs are achieved, by the better use of water, as well as by the reuse of nitrates, and the contamination of the soil by this element is largely avoided.

The general director of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Francisco González Zapater, stressed that "there are good reasons to consider aquaponics as a viable alternative to current production, such as the lack of fresh water for irrigation and the reduction of fish stocks for food, which have fallen by 50 percent in the last four decades. "

In this regard, he pointed out that "aquaponics is a form of environmentally sustainable production, since it optimizes natural resources by reusing water from fish farming for irrigation and fertilization of crops, thus offering fresh, local products with food quality. "


Tilapia is the generic name with which a group of fish of African origin is denominated.

Species of commercial interest are raised in professional fish farms in various parts of the world.

Consumers have doubts about the sanitary guarantee of these fish due to the form and conditions of their breeding in Asian countries such as China or Vietnam.

However, the University of Murcia has carried out an analysis that demonstrates its nutritional quality and the sanitary guarantee of its culture with the aquaponics system, which contributes factors such as freshness and proximity of production, which differentiates it from tilapia from other countries.

Conference and tasting

During the day several presentations were made about the test of production of tilapia and pepper in greenhouse on hydroponic cultivation in coconut fiber, also on the cultivation of vegetables and aromatics with tilapia in the aquaponics system, as well as on the use of tilapia in human nutrition, food and health quality.

The papers were delivered by representatives of the Murcian Institute for Agricultural Research and Development and Food (IMIDA), the Cifea de Torre Pacheco and the University of Murcia.

Those attending the day visited the aquaponics facilities of Cifea de Torre Pacheco, which have served as the basis for the training of teachers and students in this discipline of the joint culture of fish and plants.

Finally, a tasting of tilapia was carried out, with various preparations made by restaurateurs and companies in the Region.

Source: CARM

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