The aquaculture sector showed an increasing trend in the past few years, reaching 15000 tons in 2022. Capture fisheries activities are centered around the River Nile and its tributaries, seasonal flood plains and four major reservoirs as well as the territorial waters of Sudan on the Red Sea. Freshwater fish culture is primarily based on the pond culture of the Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus and African catfish. Living on or next to coasts, lakes and other water bodies, fishers and their communities find themselves right on the frontlines of natural disasters such as cyclones, tsunamis, and floods – as well as human-caused hazards like spills of oil, toxic chemicals or nuclear waste. The results can be devastating, with boats and fishing gear often badly damaged or completely destroyed, while key infrastructure including markets, ports, seafood processing facilities, hatcheries, fishponds and marine habitats suffer similar consequences.
Some 58.5 million people worldwide directly derive income from capture fisheries and aquaculture; the number grows significantly if we consider subsistence and secondary sector workers. Aquatic foods are also a key source of food in many countries, including several Small Island Developing States (SIDS), providing as much as 50 percent of people's annual protein intake. So, when disasters hit fishing communities, the food security and livelihoods of millions of people can be put at risk.
On the other hand, reducing risk exposure in coastal communities can mitigate such impacts, while giving them the means to rapidly restore fishing and fish farming activities after a disaster can help secure a nutritious source of food for affected people and foster the communities’ return to broader economic activities, triggering a multiplier effect for the local economy. One way to reduce risk is embracing an aquaponics structure that not only increases natural fish populations but also utilizes the fish byproducts to fertilize healthy produce without significantly lowering fish populations. The goal of your aquaponics system will matter in the cost of each component since you are growing for a specific market and purpose. Commercial aquaponics startup costs for an 5 acres of the growing area in Sudan will cost anywhere from $25,000 to $30,000.
Most of the successful systems I have seen cater to supplying lettuce or vegetables wholesale for restaurants. There is also a growing trend for recirculating indoor aquaculture systems of fish like aquaculture-grown salmon. Before beginning your commercial aquaponics startup, it is best to first consider the local demand of your area and tie your operations to that demand. Once you have done your market research, let us first consider the cost of building the hydroponics component. The cost of the hydroponics setup will differ from the practice and technologies employed in your system.
Hydroponic techniques used in aquaponics can be categorized into three types; nutrient film technique (NFT), Deep Water Culture (DWC), and Media beds. The cost of construction for all three differs greatly, with NFT being the most inexpensive to construct. NFT consists of long pipes or channels holding the plants while a stream of water flows inside the pipe. Which can be inexpensive pvc or recycled plastics.