The project “Aquatic agriculture for sea and lakes” was awarded yesterday with the “Clodomiro Picado Twight” National Technology Award, as “an initiative that reflects the best efforts of Costa Rican society to guarantee food security without deterioration of natural resources.”
Ricardo Radulovich Ramírez, a professor at the University of Costa Rica (UCR), is the researcher of the project and was the one who received the recognition from the hierarchs of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications (Micitt).
Radulovich is the director of the School of Engineering in Biosystems of the UCR and for 15 years has been dedicated to the development of aquatic agriculture, with the primary objective of eradicating hunger in the world.
Dr. Radulovich Ramírez holds a master’s degree in agriculture and plant science from California State University Fresno, USA, and a Ph.D. in soil, water, and food production from the University of California Davis.
Radulovich has focused his research, along with a team, on the sustainable production of algae and edible marine plants with great potential to be grown in both salt and fresh water.
The floating culture in lakes is very simple, we use pots that have holes underneath so the water touches and keeps the plant alive and growing in a favorable environment. The trick is to have it floating in an arrangement made of plastic bottles, or wood or bambo,”
explained the specialist.
Regarding production at sea, he said that he adapted the farming systems used in lakes to work in salt water : “we put pots that carry soil to be able to put fertilizer, because although sea water has some nutrients, it generally does not have enough for these crops to develop.”
The World Bank granted financial support to its proposal in 2007 and this year Micitt approved an incentive fund to carry out a small-scale project in the Gulf of Nicoya and in Cuajiniquil, Guanacaste.
The scientist sees in the sea a sustainable food alternative for humanity and as an opportunity to increase the possibilities of crops and food production.