A financial feasibility study of an aquaponic system in a Mediterranean urban context
- Autori: Asciuto, Antonio; Schimmenti, Emanuele; Cottone, Carlo; Borsellino, Valeria
- Anno di pubblicazione: 2019
- Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
- OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/345314
Aquaponics is largely recognized as a solution for sustainable food production as it follows a biomimetic natural system and the circular economy principles, allowing large food productivity on nonagricultural land, and at the same time strongly reducing inputs and waste. In this study, we collected technical, economic and production data from a pilot aquaponic plant producing lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) realized in an urban context in Sicily (Southern Italy), very suitable area for aquaponic production in relation to the Mediterranean climate. Through the determination of Net return and Break Even Point, analysing on one side the items which contribute to the investment (planning, construction and set up) and to the running costs, and on the other side the revenues from sales of lettuce and tilapia, its financial feasibility has been assessed. The results of the financial analysis performed for the first year of the experimental activity of the pilot unit have clearly demonstrated that aquaponic farming is likely to be profitable since the operating income is positive and about €290. The sensitivity analysis outlined in this paper suggests that the economic viability of the pilot unit might be slightly more susceptible to a decrease in total revenue rather than in operating costs. Findings provide important insights to help future aquaponic entrepreneurs formulate a business plan and allow a wider development of such a productive technology as a valid technique in boosting urban farming in the Mediterranean climate.