Innovation That Matters

Saltwater aquaponics is a circular system in which fish and vegetables grow together | Photo source Agriloops

French startup transforms crustacean waste into fertiliser

Agriculture & Energy

Agriloops aims to be producing 20 tons of prawns and 40 tons of vegetables by the end of 2021

Spotted: Two young French agricultural engineers have launched Agriloops, a saltwater aquaponics startup that aims to produce a large number of prawns and vegetables in France every year.

Saltwater aquaponics is a circular system in which fish and vegetables grow together. In this case, Romain Vandame and Jérémie Gognard will transform crustacean waste into fertiliser for growing plants — including mesclun, cherry tomatoes and aromatic herbs — which will be cultivated above-ground in a less water-intensive way.

According to a 2017 study by FranceAgriMer, nearly 120,000 tons of prawns are consumed in France per year. This is not only enough to ensure the profitability of Agriloops, but also proves the sustainability of the system, as it means that the French will  no longer need to import prawns from tropical regions. “Agriloops offers the consumer a more environmentally friendly alternative,” say the students. 

To carry out their project, the agricultural engineers launched a pilot farm within their school. After three years of analysis, they now aim to launch their own operation, with a name worthy of a Silicon Valley firm, “Mangrove 1”.

By 2021, this farm should be up and running, with additional plans to expand the production to include other marine species.

Written By: Katrina Lane

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