The project ” AEF – aquaponic EASY FARM 4.0” is an initiative in the field of innovative agriculture , based on the use of space and energy , in a highly sustainable way , in order to produce food and services with very low ecological impact and high quality.

It is realized, inside a greenhouse, a type of agriculture called ACQUAPONICS, based on the combination between AQUACULTURE (cultivation of aquatic species such as fish, crustaceans, purifying algae, etc . ) and a cultivation of plant species out of soil (SOILLES AGRICULTURE).

The greenhouse , at the Botanical Garden of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, will be about 250 square meters wide, with a rectangular plan (6×40 m) and the median axis oriented to East-West, in order to leave all the single-pitched roof exposed to the South to host, as efficiently as possible, any solar installation.

The plant will have a cultivated area of ​​about 90 square meters, divided into three tanks 25×1.2 m, and 5 tanks for fish farming.

The installation is capable of producing around 10,000 kg per year of leafy vegetables and 1,000 kg per year of Tilapie, a standard fish species for aquaponics systems, thanks to its characteristics of adaptability and rapid growth.

Part of the project’s developments is related to the search for species to be cultivated/raised that make the production system and the final results more efficient in terms of resource exploitation and environmental and economic sustainability.

The plant is designed to realize, with a little quantity of water and in a few square meters, what is normally produced in hectares of land to be irrigated. Moreover, it provides an effective water purification system.

Five components will be installed in the system:

  • Fish tanks;
  • Bioreactors;
  • Rafts tanks for fruit and vegetables and officinal plants;
  • All industrial process components;
  • Control and management instruments – also by remote (home automation, sensors, software).

The project is based on a specific criterion: any element generated or processed during the production framework, must never be considered and treated as a waste but as a ” byproduct otherwise usable “, useful for a downstream process, until when the final process generates something useful for the first cycle, thus closing the circle of sustainability and circular economy.

The AEF – aquaponic EASY FARM 4.0 fits within the strategies dictated by the Smart Specialization Strategy (S3) (financed as part of the’ Ob . Op I.4 of PON, and promoted in accordance with the Ministry of Education , University and Research).  Furthermore, within the Regional Intelligent Specialization Strategies, the project is akin to the following Priority Areas for the development of the country (OFFICIAL BULLETIN OF THE LAZIO REGION – No. 48 – Supplement No. 1 “) .