Bustan Aquaponics Looks To Create Food Security In Egypt
Bustan Aquaponics is providing a much-needed alternative to Egypt’s traditional agriculture paradigm. Egypt has historically been called the ‘gift of the Nile’ and enjoyed a rich agricultural tradition. However, in recent years, Egypt has been facing two huge factors making it very food insecure, a rising population coupled with a severe water crisis.According to a Guardian analysis back in 2015, Egypt is said to be “below the United Nations’ water poverty threshold,” with the UN predicting that by 2025, Egypt could approach the state of “absolute water crisis”.
Enter Faris Farrag who started Bustan Aquaponics in an attempt to ease the pressure on the Country’s stressed natural resources. Farrag felt that Egypt was in dire need of modern forms of agriculture to prevent its impending water crisis. He took matters into his own hands by starting a commercial aquaponics farm.
Farrag began experimenting with aquaponics in 2011 with a prototype system and then officially launched Bustan Aquaponics in 2014. He currently serves the Egypt market but hopes to use his early success as a means to get funding to expand with projects in other regions under similar pressures to their food security.
Farrag claims that Bustan Aquaponics is the is currently the largest bayleaf salad producer in Egypt. His farm, located just outside of Cairo, grows a number of other products on a seasonal basis – basil in the summer, kale and leafy greens in the winter along with herbs like thyme, rosemary, and mint.
Bustan Aquaponics sells to many of the top gourmet restaurants and supermarkets. In addition to Cairo, Bustan Aquaponics sells produce to customers in Alexandria, Hurghada, and along the North Coast of Egypt.
In his mission to bring these sustainable farming practices to wider adoption in these areas Farrag also recently began offering aquaponic consulting services throughout the Middle East. They specialize in desert farming solutions and using farms to created local food economies that utilize local organizations to strengthen and empower a local food movement.