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Implementation of aquaponic technology in Romania to benefit health and sustainable livelihood in deprived areas

Aquaponik-Projektanlage bei der Hochschule in Nasaud Rumänien

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The vast majority of Romanian farmers are smallholders that are among the poorest population group in the country. Among these the most affected are located in mountain areas, where, due to uneven distribution and quality of land, climate stress and the small farm sizes, the development and cultivation of crops is difficult and productivity is low. The low vegetable and fruit production in mountain areas causes a one-sided and restricted diet which consists mainly of meat and dairy products. It is known that high-protein diets are one of the causes of low life expectancy and the presence of various forms of cancer1,2. Romania ranks 100 in the WHO statistics (2013)3 with regard to life expectancy, and is below the EU average. In contrast to Romanian mountains, typical diets in the „Blue Zone“4 are plant-based with only occasional inclusion of meat or fish.

An important policy of the European Union is to ensure that people live longer lives and in good health (Joint Action: EHLEIS, 2012). Therefore, it is crucial to support the population in deprived areas to obtain access to additional sources of income, but as well sources of healthy food that can contribute to change current eating habits.

On the other hand, future farming and food supply systems will face substantial changes in their environments. Some regions will face increased climate change-related stress, so it is crucial to prepare alternative solutions to ensure food security.

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