Nakuru Living Lab


Innovation challenge: how to enlarge the fish production to larger ponds and become commercially viable?

What is our innovation case about?

Greenthumb Community Based Organization is a Youth group started in 2014 that aim to empower youth financially through farming. We are currently investing in aquaponics to create jobs for youth with passion for fish farming. Aquaponics allow intensive fish production on small and even urban areas. We are also producing organic vegetables and they have a bakery. At the moment, the group has 10 greenhouses with pond and vegetable plots.

The position in the food systems transformation towards regeneration and inclusion is:

Aquaponics is a way of undertaking farming in peri-urban areas with limited space, and in this way to produce fish and crops for food security. Because of growing the crops in greenhouses, the crops are growing 30% faster. And the ponds can take up to 4000 fish per unit. Because of the water circularity system, the farmer is saving costs of water expenses. And the recycling of residue waste into organic fertilizers brings the nutrients back to the plants.

What is our innovation challenge?

Greenthumb is promoting circularity in farming practices via aquaponics. Aquaponics are interdependent systems to grow plants and fish. Water is pumped from the ponds by solar powered pumps into vegetable plots. This water is rich of nutrients. Dam lining recirculates water back into the pond. Crop residues are sold to make organic fertilizer and is then sold back. And food waste is used for feed.

The main challenge is how to make the business commercially viable by enlarging fishponds and volumes per unit. Greenthumb is looking for ways to increase the fish population. There are some challenges with regard to the way of feeding fish, the nutrient requirements of the crops and there are some pending stocking issues.