A report from Benzinga.
Fusion Farms, a hurricane-protected Aquaponics Vertical Farm has been determined to be an “essential” agricultural operation in Puerto Rico. Fusion Farms is also classified as “a company of strategic importance” and is providing curb-side pickup and delivery of handcrafted salads to members of the local community.
The Secretary of the Government of Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development and Commerce, Eng. Manuel A. Laboy Rivera, has issued guidance for the agriculture industry on essential businesses and how those businesses can mitigate against COVID-19 while maintaining essential operations to ensure access to food.
On March 15, 2020, the Governor of Puerto Rico, Hon. Wanda Vázquez Garced, issued an Executive Order to facilitate the private and public closings necessary to combat the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and control the risk of contagion within the Island.
“As the island takes steps to mitigate against COVID-19 and continues to strive for a healthy Puerto Rico for all, businesses across the island have been struggling with the question of whether they’re essential or not,” said Fusion Farms CEO Kendell Lang. “Agriculture’s role is unquestionable: access to food is fundamental; we need hyper-local agriculture now more than ever and we’re proud to be part of the solution during these challenging times.” The Circular Letter issued by Secretary Laboy helped businesses across the island determine whether they are considered “essential” or not.
Essential businesses for a safe and accessible food supply include greenhouses and vegetable plants, distribution and transportation system from processors and manufacturers to retailers, retailers to include grocery stores and grocery delivery services, laboratories, and inspectors that ensure food safety, among others.
The current Administration encourages these operations, especially food production and distribution facilities, to continue operations and issued guidance for essential operations to continue with procedures that will protect both employees and the public from COVID-19.
“We encourage all our colleagues and producers to aggressively practice the Food Safety guidance we’ve been taught to ensure the security of our food supply as we’ve been duly certified by the Produce Safety Alliance,” added Lang. “During these uncertain times, all of Puerto Rico is counting on the industry to continue to provide for our most basic needs, but done with the highest care and concern for the health and well-being of our customers.”
Fusion Farms is a Bonafide Agriculture operator in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and operates a Hurricane-protected facility which combines elements of hydroponics, aquaculture and renewable energy in a fully contained and controlled environment. Sustainable Controlled Environment Aquaponics (“CEA”) provides a unique combination of technologies and agriculture for the production of a variety of food products, as well as fish, in a CEA facility. Extensive scientific research on closed-loop aquaponic ecosystems has paved the way for repeatable, scalable food production, which represents an innovative advance in the way food supplies will be grown in the future.
What is an aquaponic system?
The concept is simple. Fish are farmed in a large tank. The water in this tank becomes rich with their wastes which is filtered, cleaned and is then circulated to the hydroponics portion of the farm. This consists of vertically stacked rows of vegetables and herbs. The fertile water is circulated through the root systems of these plants (i.e. no soil is used), which filter out the nutrients, leaving the water clean enough to reintroduce back into the fish tank.
In this way, both fish and leafy green vegetables and herbs are grown simultaneously and on a constant basis, all year round, irrespective of the weather, climate, and seasons. Aquaponic farms are incredibly efficient for producing a consistent yield of important food crops and protein, all of which is super fresh, 100% #pesticidefree, and non-GMO. And it’s the perfect model to introduce to Puerto Rico, which has the space for it and certainly the need!
“Our solution is the ‘fusion’ of hydroponic growing of agricultural products combined with aquaculture of Tilapia,” says Lang. “This is based on the implementation of a comprehensive eco-system consisting of a self-sustaining, renewable, organic Controlled Environment Aquaponics (CEA).”
The concept that is being implemented by Fusion Farms is a solution to the Food Insecurity problem – and one that will outlive the next hurricane or the next virus and the one after that: hurricane protected, biosecure controlled environment #aquaponicsfarms.
This agriculture opportunity isn’t only a smart financial move but also an environmentally friendly and humanitarian one. Putting an end to the mass importation of food produce will relieve the planet of millions of food miles every year and will establish a local, reliable source of fresh food produce in Puerto Rico.
Fusion Farms already employs dozens of Puerto Ricans, including traditional farmers, who have valuable experience to offer, and other capable Puerto Ricans, who can be trained to become a part of the team and the movement towards a food sovereign future for the island.
If you are looking for an opportunity to build your own Aquaponics Farm, bring Aquaponics to your Community, Invest in Fusion Farms or you just want to make a real difference while growing your wealth, Fusion Farms’ aquaponics is a fantastic opportunity.
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