Autopot® Project - Slim River
Converting wasteland in to a highly productive farm - 10 times higher than normal farms.
This 100 acre project site presented quite a few challenges. Firstly, it is an ex-tin mine which means it is truly a wasteland not suitable for conventional farming. We can be considered crazy trying to convert this property into a profitable conventional farm...however, not if we were to use Autopot® Aquaponics methodology in developing this property...
Fifty years ago, this site was fertile farmland. Then came mining extracting tin ore from the ground. A couple of years later, no more tin ore left, mining activities stopped and the land was simply abandoned. The land was left to mother nature to take care of itself. How amazing, nature has transformed this piece of wasteland into a beautiful ecologically balanced wet land - with lots of birds and aquatic life.
Recovery was only confined to the 50% of the property which is under water. The rest of the area is one to two meters above the water level and its soil was so poor even native vegetation was unable to reclaim the land fifty years later under tropical conditions.
To transform this wasteland in to a highly productive farm with minimal impact on its environment, especially the ecologically sensitive part of the property - the wetland.
Core farming activities
Grow out with annual production capacity of 1 million table fish (mainly Jade Perch).
Fish hatchery and nursery.
Secondary farming activities
Tropical fruit tree nursery.
Vegetable and crop production.
Poultry production to be integrated to existing farming activities.
Supplementary farm activities.
Our aim was to incorporate all these activities in to the 100 acre farm without destroying the existing natural habitat. Almost 85% of property will stay intact and earthwork was confined to a small area required for erection of the building structures. Ultimately, on completion of the entire project within two to three years, we estimated that only 15% of the land surface is likely to be worked with. That was a really big ask, however we did it!
To achieve the above objectives, we certainly couldn't follow traditional methods of farming. Fish farming in particular, for example, raising 1 million Jade Perch to marketable size of up to 800gms each. At an average pond stocking density of 10,000 fish per acre it will take up to 3/4 of the total project site. That means the site will almost be converted to fish ponds - a total destruction of the habitat. Something we really wanted to avoid.