Agronomía UC will participate in an aquaponic project with salmon plants in Puerto Montt
The dean, Rodrigo Figueroa, signed the participation agreement with the companies Lago Sofía and Pentair. They will develop the innovative initiative that will generate crops of agronomic and hydroponic vegetables from the minerals coming from waters in salmonid plants.
Lago Sofia Circular Food is the new initiative that will integrate the production of salmon with the cultivation of plants in water in a symbiotic environment, in what is known as aquaponics and that will generate a system of sustainable production of circular economy, taking advantage of residual minerals of salmon farming activities.
Rodrigo Figueroa, dean of the Faculty of Agronomy and Forest Engineering of the PUC, explained that the most important challenges will lie in the transfer of vegetables to different areas of the country, especially considering that most of the demand comes from Santiago (region Metropolitan). For this reason, the expert believes that it will be relevant to study the business model that will apply for these hydroponic products.
This project has the collaboration of Lago Sofía, the Pentair company and the Faculty of Agronomy and Forestry Engineering of the Catholic University. According to the organizers, it is the first time that a project of these characteristics will be carried out in the country. A project that follows the line of research developed by Rui Sá, a prominent teacher of our faculty who died in 2017, and who was recognized for his contributions in the area of aquaculture.
Now, Fernando Bas will be in charge of coordinating the collaboration of the University with the initiative that will be established 12 kilometers from the city of Puerto Montt, on the way to Chinquihue. The project, based on a circular system of food production that would allow sustainable development, is in the design stage to be implemented in the Lake Sofia aquaculture. Pentair will be the company responsible for providing and designing water technologies. Juan Pablo Barrales, Manager of Administration and Sales, explained that “one of the main challenges will be to reuse the largest amount of water from fish production and the second will be to have the means, with the most appropriate water for plants ”
This agreement will allow the Catholic University to generate an exchange of students and professors, together with specific thesis and research projects to contribute to the project and also generate knowledge. Meanwhile, the representative of Lago Sofia, Miguel Portus, took optimistic accounts and noted his “intention in twelve months is to be producing vegetables hand in hand with the production of salmon.”