The combined effects of anthropogenic and climate change factors have severely impacted the yield from the traditional food production system resulting in food insecurity and other socio-economic problems. The predominant food production systems have been reviewed as unsustainable and environmentally unfriendly; therefore, there is a need to adopt innovative and sustainable food production systems locally and globally. This article addresses traditional food production challenges by exploring low-cost aquaponics to attain food security and socio-economic development, notably in poor communities. A low-cost aquaponic system was first developed conceptually using the reflective practice approach. Its applicability to sustainable livelihoods and economic development is explored. Subsequently, the critical success factors of low-cost aquaponics were identified. These include infrastructure design, microclimatic environment, human ecology, and sociocultural dynamics. Due to its integrative and multiple application scenarios ranging from low-tech to high-tech, aquaponics is a complex and unconventional food production system. The reverse scalability to a small scale, the low-cost set-up makes it sustainable in achieving food security and socio-economic development in poor communities.”

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Adeleke, B., Cassim, S. & Taylor, S. Pathways to low-cost aquaponic systems for sustainable livelihoods and economic development in poor communities: defining critical success factors. Aquacult Int (2022).


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