INMED Aquaponics Training

Increasing Access To Climate-Smart Agriculture in Jamaica

The Future of Farming

Cultivating opportunities for income generation, food security and climate-change resilience through aquaponics.

The Challenge

In Jamaica, climate-related events have been identified as major threats to the agricultural sector, which represents about 7 percent of GDP and employs about 18 percent of the country’s population. Small- and medium-scale farmers are among the most vulnerable to the current and future effects of climate change, because they lack the technology, knowledge and financing to implement adaptive measures. As climate change threatens economic opportunities for these farmers, it is imperative to introduce new business models and technologies that will enable farmers to not only adapt, but to thrive, in a new context.

The Solution

To address these challenges, INMED Partnerships for Children/INMED Caribbean have implemented numerous aquaponics systems for technical schools, a residential facility for the disabled, a youth detention center and smallholder farm cooperatives in Jamaica. Based on the success of those projects, INMED is now implementing a four-year project with funding from the Inter-American Development Bank/Multilateral Investment Fund and the Caribbean Development Bank to help emerging farmers launch aquaponics enterprises. Other partners include the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries; Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation; Rural Agricultural Development Authority and the College of Agriculture Science and Education. Aquaponics is a climate-smart farming method that combines soilless crop  production with fish farming into one closed-loop system to promote water efficiency, build resilience and enhance livelihoods for small-scale commercial farmers supplying the local market.

INMED’s Increasing Access to Climate-Smart Agriculture (IACA) program provides technical and business training, access to affordable loans, ongoing technical assistance and links to markets for high-quality aquaponic fish and produce. With ongoing local extension support from RADA, this program can strengthen Jamaica’s agricultural economy, increase food security and improve health.

IACA Is Made Possible with the Generous Support of these Program Partners

Aquaponics is resilient to erratic and destructive climate change events. INMED’s simple, scalable and low-cost system uses easily accessible local materials that can
provide year-round sustainable produce and fish for families, small-scale farmers, communities, schools, businesses and government institutions. 

The Benefits of Aquaponics

INMED Partnerships for Children is a global leader in facilitating adaptive agriculture and aquaponics projects in developing regions to help vulnerable communities thrive physically, socially and economically.

Benefits of aquaponics include:

  • Crops grow faster, healthier and yield more harvests per year than traditional farming.
  • 90% less water consumption than traditional farming.
  • No chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
  • Low energy consumption.
  • Year-round crop production.
  • Accessible to women, youth and individuals with disabilities.

INMED has installed numerous commercial aquaponics systems around the world to promote income generation, access to fresh and nutritious foods and greater ability to
adapt to climate change, as well as to address complex public health challenges.

How The IACA Program Works

  1. Online Prequalification Training – Participants take an online training and loan prequalification course focused on
    1) aquaponics technology and implementation,
    2) understanding financing and loans, and
    3) developing business plans and markets.
  2. Hands-On Training – After completing the online prequalification training course, farmers begin hands-on and classroom training in a 3-day workshop to learn how to build, operate and  maintain their systems and manage a business.
  3. Loan Application – Once participants have successfully completed the online and workshop training sessions and have prepared a business plan, they will be eligible to apply for loan financing with a pre-selected group of financial institutions offering affordable interest rates and appropriate repayment terms.
  4. System Construction – With credit for inputs, plus INMED technical support, participants construct their aquaponics systems using easily accessible materials and qualified construction teams. INMED experts and agricultural extension agents provide technical assistance with crop and fish production.
  5. Access to Markets – INMED connects participants to selected buyers and aggregators, such as Grace Kennedy Agro Processors, Round Hill Resorts and other specialty hotels, restaurants and supermarkets, to create sustainable markets for their aquaponics produce.
  6. Ongoing Support –  Participants receive ongoing technical support from INMED and agricultural extension agents as needed, making the program sustainable far into the future.

Start the Online
Prequalification Training Now