01 June 2022

Lesedi Primary School Expands its Impactful Aquaponics Programme

Submitted by Jacqui
Lesedi Primary School Expands its Impactful Aquaponics Programme

After more than a decade of incorporating aquaponics into its curricula and feeding scheme, Lesidi la Kreste Primary School in Orange Farm is proving the value and sustainability of school-based adaptive agriculture. Its aquaponics system - one of the first installed in the country by INMED South Africa in 2011 - was recently upgraded and expanded as part of INMED’s long-running Health in Action programme in partnership with the Mondelēz International Foundation.

“Aquaponics provides a platform that allows learners to explore, imagine and discover. They are inspired to expand their creativity,” said Mam Pinkie Motlanyane, a teacher at the school who coordinates an environmental group of learners at the school.

As part of INMED’s school-based Health in Action nutrition and healthy lifestyles programme, instructors use the school’s aquaponics system to teach science, math, writing, adaptive agriculture, art and even to practice behaviour therapy. INMED South Africa installed the Lesidi system in 2011, along with providing programme materials, teacher training and food preparer training to incorporate the fresh produce and fish into the school’s meals. INMED South Africa has implemented dozens of aquaponics systems in schools and communities with a variety of partners over the past 11 years.

Lesidi’s expanded system has more grow beds, a new pump and a seedling nursery. “It really speaks to the resilience of INMED Aquaponics® to provide sustainable food security and adaptive agriculture education - which is especially critical now as the world faces the biggest food shortage since World War I,” said Dr Sandra Pretorius, Health in Action Programme Manager. She recently led a two-day aquaponics training for Lesidi’s teachers at the INMED Aquaponics® Social Enterprise in Vanderbiljpark as well as an interactive and educational planting session with learners from the environmental group at the school in May.

"It's so exciting for everyone,” said teacher Mam Pinkie Motlanyane. “The kids curiously ask how plants grow in stones. The greenhouse is attractive and everyone is eager to know more about aquaponics.”

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PREPARED ON BEHALF OF INMED SOUTH AFRICA BY CATHY FINDLEY PR. CONTACT JACQUI MOLOI WITH ANY QUERIES ON 071 7648233 OR EMAIL This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Editor’s notes

INMED Partnerships for Children is a non-profit international development organisation that has worked in more than 100 countries for over 30 years to build pathways for vulnerable children and families to achieve well-being and self-reliance. Through multisector partnerships and in-country affiliates, INMED builds effective systems that deliver innovative and sustainable approaches to break complex cycles of poverty for current and future generations.

Since 2006, in-country affiliate INMED South Africa has been working in collaboration with a wide range of corporate, foundation and government partners to transform the health, lives and futures of South Africa’s most vulnerable children. INMED South Africa’s programmes focus on food security, child and community health, and economic and social development via climate-smart agriculture and participatory education. Incorporated under Section 21, INMED South Africa is a registered non-profit organization (NPC/PBO) recognized by the Department of Social Development and the South African Revenue Service (SARS). For more information, visit: www.inmed.org.za.

Published in Agricultural