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    The “Eco-nomic-farm” Revolution

    by Md Kamruzzaman 1515478704000

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      My practice was tested or implemented in:

      Asia-Pacific

      Give a brief outline of your promising practice:

      We are a team of students in the Department of Microbiology and Hygiene at Bangladesh Agricultural University( BAU) with the shared purpose of starting a revolution in farming, which combines food production with water recycling, local energy production, and environmental stewardship. It’s called the ”Eco-nomic Farm.”

      The eco-nomic farm combines traditional high-animal density farming with pond aquaculture to increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability.  The basic idea is to utilize the manure from animals (dairy cows, pigs, or chickens) to make a carbon/nitrogen rich sludge and a nutrient-rich liquid.  Using well-known anaerobic digester (AD) methods, the sludge is transformed into biogas, which is burned to make electricity, heat, and CO2.  The nutrient rich liquid from the manure and from the AD, combined with the CO2 is used to cultivate fast-growing microalgae in photobioreactors (PBRs).  The PBRs float in a pond that maintains the temperature of the algae cultures and minimizes the cost of the PBRs themselves. The algal biomass, with its omega-fatty acids, proteins, and carbohydrates, becomes a feed additive for the livestock and for an aquaculture species grown under the PBRs in the same pond. Depending on the aquaculture species, we will use an open or re-circulated aquaculture system (RAS), but in both cases the oxygen from the algae will contribute to the well-being of the aquaculture species. The wastewater from the algae and the RAS will be processed by filtration, forward and reverse osmosis, or other methods to provide clean water for the livestock, while the solids (retentate) from the water purification process will be processed by the AD system. Solar panels and/or wind turbines will help to meet the Farm’s energy needs for heat and electricity.

      Our team is “profit minded, market driven, and impact centered.” We are confident that we have all the technical skills needed to make the Eco-nomic Farm system work.  Our goal is to go beyond “giving people fish, and teaching people to fish,” we want to teach people to create eco-nomic farms of all scales.  We believe such Eco-nomic farms will help secure a sustainable food, water, and energy future for Bangladesh while addressing many of the UN SDGs. 

      Sincerely yours,  Students of BAU.

      The main lessons learned during the process of implementing or testing my practice:

      • During pilot project, we got satisfactory result.
      • We created employment

      What is the significance of your experience/practice:

      • Drinking water supply
      • Electricity supply
      • Job facilities
      • Food
      • Aquaculture
      • Wastewater treatment

      I would be interested in working with UNHCR Innovation Service to further document my practice or lessons learned:

      Yes

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