Rhodesfield school can now grow its own veggies

THE aquaponic system is environmentally friendly and can produce lots of food in a constrained space.

HUNDREDS of parents around Kempton Park will be proud to know that Laerskool Kempton Park will be able to feed needy learners from its newly launched aquaponic system.

Ekurhuleni MMC for City Planning, Masele Madihlaba, made his way to the school in Rhodesfield as a surprise guest to applaud the project spearheaded by Air Products and INMED South Africa on September 6.

This initiative not only provides an educational platform for learners and a regular supply of vegetables and fish for the school’s feeding schemes but also creates an opportunity for sustainability for the entire community.

A proud Laerskool Kempton Park principal André Page speaking about how the system is going to help feed learners at the school.

This system exposes teachers and learners to the importance on health and nutrition and teaches them the skills to grow their own vegetables in a way that is quick, energy efficient, environmentally friendly and chemical free.

Aquaponics is an agricultural technique which combines aquaculture and soilless crop growing. The system is custom size, which consists of three fish tanks and five grow beds. Each tank consists of 600 fish and the grow beds will have 1 x 7m of grow space each for a variety of vegetables and herbs. The traditional and sensory garden will be in a space of 25 x 10m.

THE aquaponic system is said to be both efficient and effective in producing a lot of food in schools.

Air Products managing director Rob Richardson said he was proud the project would benefit yet another school and help feed children so they may get their education on a full stomach.

“This project can produce a lot of food even on constrained land and will be able to feed many learners through the school’s feeding scheme. As a company, we are proud of this project because we are aware that a lot of learners that go to our schools do so without having had anything to eat in the morning. For some of these learners the meals they receive at schools’ feeding schemes are all they eat all day,” said Richardson.

MMC for City Planning Masele Madihlaba applauded the project spearheaded by Air Products and INMED South Africa.

School principal André Page said he and the rest of the staff werey proud of the aquaponics system because the children would be the direct benefactors of the project. He thanked all those involved in the project.

Madihlaba applauded Air Products for such a good project. “I was a teacher for 13 years before I was convinced to become a councillor, so I can say I know what teachers are dealing with and how important such a project is to a school.”

According to Air Products, the system exposes teachers and learners to the importance of health and nutrition and teaches them the skills to grow their own vegetables in a way that is quick, energy efficient, environmentally friendly and chemical free.

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