Aquaponics refers to an interdependent integration of aquaculture, or the raising of fish and hydroponics, or the growth of plants in a water-based system. This system involves the growth of a variety fish such as goldfish, carp, crappie, tilapia, brim, koi and bass, as well as plants such as chives and lettuce. Other leafy crops such as cucumbers, tomatoes, melons, peppers, flowers and other crops are also grown. In an aquaponic system, plants offer clean water to fish and fish wastes provide nutrients for the growing plants. This creates a highly sustainable natural system as no harsh chemicals are used to produce food. This market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 14.3% during 2016-2021, increasing from $409m in 2015 to $906.9m by 2021.
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The aquaponics market has been segmented based on components, produce type, equipment, and end-users. Rearing tanks, settling basins, bio filter, sump, hydroponic subsystems and aquaponic produce are the major components used in aquaponics. Fish, herbs, vegetables and fruits are the key outcomes of aquaponics system. The various types of equipment used in aquaponics include grow lights, in-line water heaters, pumps and valves, monitoring and alarms, water quality testing, fish purge systems and aeration systems. The aquaponics systems have found widespread usage across commercial, community, home production and research & education sectors.
Currently, there exist around 20,000 aquaponic practitioners across the globe with high concentration in developed regions such as North America and Europe. Investments in commercial large scale aquaponics projects are increasing predominantly due to flourishing organic food market and strengthening urban farming. This market is fairly fragmented with presence of few players at country level and lack of regional and global companies.
Few key companies providing aquaponics solutions include:
- Nelson & Pade Inc. (U.S.)
- ECF Farmsystems GmbH (Germany)
- Urban Farms AG (Switzerland).
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