Who We Are?
“Green Age” NGO is a non-profit/non-governmental organization comprising successful young professionals (all under 30 y/o) with a same goal to save, protect and preserve the nature globally and in Armenia particularly. We are an open membership organization striving to deliver the best of green sustainable development strategies, environmental education and environmental projects with open-to-public outcome.
Board members of the organization are environmental and agricultural professionals who are deeply involved in the diversity of environmental sphere.
What is the Project?
Current project addresses to implement a solution for innovative agricultural technology with application of sustainable and environmentally friendly water resource management technique.
Both major water sources of Armenia are experiencing severe environmental threats caused by overuse of water resources for agriculture. Therefore the challenge of the initiative is to find a compromise solution addressing both mentioned issues simultaneously.
Green Age NGO has piloted a closed cycle agricultural technology – aquaponics farming in Armenia (Green Age Aquaponics) where the food production is not dependent on constant water supply, providing a perfect match, insuring food security along with efficient water (re)use. You can find more interesting staff about aquaponics in the video attached and our official web page – http://aquaponics.am.
The main financial pattern of the project is based on creating required incentives for implementation of stable capacity building sessions through funds generated by scaled up farm supported through the fund. This creates a self-sponsoring system for continuous education of local communities.
So why do we need funding?
Our pilot project was a first model aquaponics farm in Armenia. It was a great example to show the rural population how is it possible to grow a bunch of greens in places where the soil-based agriculture is not even possible (arid lands with high salinity – very common in Armenia). So now, we want to scale-up the farm and reach more people with this technology and make the process sustainable by generating profit and use this money to educate people and create a network of small yard-based aquaponics greenhouses for most vulnerable households in our community.
How much do we need?
Well… the more funds we get…the bigger will be the greenhouse – the more profit we can generate – more people can be educated – more households reached with the small models.
However we know that the funding is limited to $5000… So here is the budget for a medium scale aquaponics farm that will make a huge difference:
- Greenhouse construction fixed materials for 80 m2 (metallic joints) – $1320
- Greenhouse plastic cover for 80 m2– $1030
- Fish tanks for aquaponics system setup – $740
- Materials for plant growing beds – $1210
- Connection materials (pumps, valves, pipes, joints) – $340
- Acquisition of input materials for system start-up (seeds, seedlings, fish fry, etc.) – $360
! By introducing this technology in developing countries like Armenia it will be possible to produce lot of food in communities that strive from lack of irrigation and low quality of the soil and what is even more important – save huge amount of water!
Our whole system runs on alternative energy, including heating and cooling systems, so by running this project we also hope to seriously reduce the carbon footprint!
Risks & Challenges
Yes it is not easy to run aqauaponics in places where people are very conservative about how to grow and how to farm. So the main challenge we see – is the acceptance of the technology by local population.
However during the implementation of our pilot farm we already had many interested villagers that SAW the difference and will be more than happy to accept the idea. Just more efforts need to be done to reach more people and more minds!
Blogpost and picture submitted by Artem Parseghyan (Armenia) – info[at]greenage.ngo
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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