Be the Change Africa, an initiative of FreshMinistries, Inc. has signed a partnership agreement with Conservation South Africa to build its aquaponics training facility in Mpumalanga, South Africa.
The two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding in September 2021 to develop and test aquaponics as an innovative community social enterprise pilot using aquaponics technology for climate smart agriculture to stimulate the local green economy and develop green skills in the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere situated in Mpumalanga.
“We have worked closely with Conservation South Africa for some time to lay the groundwork for this project,” said The Rev. Dr. Robert V. Lee III, founder and CEO of FreshMinistries. “We share values around sustainable agriculture and building sustainable communities, and are ready to launch this work to benefit the community through developing productive, energy-efficient aquaponics technology and educating the community to capitalize on its benefits.”
The aquaponics project in Mpumalanga will serve as an infrastructure model that contributes to food security and building the resilience of rangeland communities to climate change. It is intended that the pilot should demonstrate how the model can be taken to scale to bring fresh, healthy food, agribusiness development, climate awareness in water scarce areas and education on nutrition and agriculture to local communities, and ultimately, to communities around the world. The pilot should demonstrate how climate smart agriculture and technology contributes to the efforts of ending global hunger and can form part of nature-based solutions to reduce pressure on vulnerable rangelands and support biodiversity conservation through the creation of green enterprises and green learning facilities.