But as part of a partnership with the federal government called Feed the Future, researchers at land-grant universities are trying new approaches to the decades-old dilemma.
“The world’s poorest people, and hungriest people, generally, the majority of them are small farmers living in rural areas,” said Tjada D’oyen McKenna, deputy coordinator for development for Feed the Future. “And agriculture is the most effective means of bringing them out of poverty and under-nutrition.”
Put heat, light, water and nitrogen together and you get lakes and ponds that are choked with plant growth. It's Horticulture Day and host, Charity Nebbe, talks with Allen Patillo, Iowa State University Extension Fisheries and Aquaculture Specialist about aquatic plant management. Later in the hour ISU Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron and DNR District Forester Mark Vitosh join the conversation to answer listener questions about plants and trees.
One of Iowa's only Aquaponics facilities is marketing locally grown, chemical free vegetables and fish raised in a sustainable manner and available year round. All Seasons Harvest is located just north of Cedar Falls and grows lettuce, kale, herbs and Tilapia fish in a six thousand square foot greenhouse.
Cousins and long-time business partners Jeff and Mark Nelson have immersed themselves in aquaculture. They're growing fish in a part of the country where pork is king. They've converted a former hog confinement building into a farm-raised fish venture called Iowa's First. They have eighteen, ten thousand gallon tanks filled with hybrid bass which they ship to restaurants all over the country. The Nelsons are also experimenting with growing shrimp.
Fish and fresh veggies make an appealing paring for dinner, but they can also be a great duo in the greenhouse. Host Charity Nebbe discusses aquaponics, which is the growing of crops with nutrient rich waste water from fish farming. Iowa State University Extension fisheries specialist Allen Pattillo and horticulturist Richard Jauron join the program.