Ekiti State, Nigeria

Objective:

In 2017, Paul Westwood and Henry Nickerson traveled to Nigeria under a contract with INTAG, a U.S.-based agriculture company that was engaged by the World Bank, through the Nigeria State Education Program Investment Project (SEPIP). The purpose of this initial visit was to conduct site assessments and a feasibility study to determine the roll that aquaponic growing facilities could play in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Students involved in the CEA programs to be established would receive training in not only the hard sciences such as plant propagation, greenhouse operations, and aquaculture, but would gain skills in plumbing, utilities, engineering, and agribusiness.

Outcome:

In November 2018, Paul Westwood and Henry Nickerson returned to Ekiti State, Nigeria to construct a 3,000 square foot aquaponic facility for INTAG, in partnership with CBC, a Nigeria-based engineering and construction contracting firm.

Constructed at the Governor’s Gifted School, this aquaponic screen-house aids the Federal Ministry of Education in providing students with Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), and real-world opportunities to engage with industry-leading growing equipment. It is the hope of Westwood CEA that this facility serves as a model of sustainable farming practices to be replicated across West Africa.

This aquaponic system utilizes waste-water from tilapia tanks as the primary nutrient source for cultivating a variety of vegetative and fruiting crops. As this is a recirculating system, in which remediated water is recycled back to the fish, crops can be produced with only a small percentage of water and land relative to conventional growing methods. Erected in a controlled environment screen-house, this system is not as susceptible to seasonal fluctuations of rainfall and temperatures, allowing for year-round food production.