ImPACKt Farm

Flat-packed aquaponic farming units for rapid and sustainable disaster relief.

Simple-assembly, flat-packed aquaponic farms. Re-invents post-disaster aid by providing food security and kickstarting agriculture recovery.

Use Case

Preethi is a typical woman who lives in a rural village in Nepal. Her day-to-day routine involves looking after her and husband’s farm. This all changed when the earthquake hit. Everything they had was destroyed and Preethi and her family are now completely dependent on aid. Fortunately, Preethi lives in a community that received an imPACKt farm, which they collectively set up. As the food aid donations decrease, the farm will already have produced a sufficient amount of food for Preethi and her family. Furthermore, the farm is producing extra food, which Preethi can sell, providing her with long-term profit benefits. Now she is no longer dependent on aid but rather empowered by sustainable agriculture technologies.

Potential

Faced with today’s political and natural disasters, we often turn to donations to show our compassion and support. Sadly, due to distribution inefficiencies, lack of infrastructure and corruption, aid doesn’t always reach its intended destination. Since our product is non-monetary and non-perishable it is not vulnerable to being corrupted or decay. Through crowd-funding and targeted collaborations with trusted NGO, we could ensure legal clarity, transparency and effectiveness. Being cost-efficient, simple to use and set up, we believe that our farms could provide food security not only to disaster affected areas but also to the whole world. Ultimately, we want to revolutionise the agriculture industry where people don't have to depend on their location to have constant access to food

Business Case

Initially, a new donations ecosystem will be built combining crowd-funding, crowd-sourcing and micro-investment opportunities to sponsor the creation of aid farms. We believe the eventual excess produce of the farms will stimulate farmers to trade again thus providing the farmer with a continuous source of income. After the implementation stage, as the product develops, we will allow for equity crowd-funding through platforms such as Bolsa Social which provides legal clarity and transparency to investors. In the long run, we would like to expand our market, offering a commercial model to anyone interested in producing fresh and organic food in their own homes. A one-to-one model would be implemented, whereby all of the profits gained from sales would finance the farms sent as aid.

Objectives:

  1. To provide aid, not as a source of dependency, but as a sustainable solution to empower people during the aftermath of natural disasters.
  2. Make donations system more transparent and straightforward, empowering anyone to make a positive impact on food security around the world.
  3. Create a unique and essential product that can substitute traditional agriculture methods, being more cost-efficient and scalable.

Team imPACKt

Madrid, Spain

Our Team

FIELD RESEARCH IN NEPAL : INFOGRAPHICS ! / Published January 13, 2016 by Tsering Kenji Sherpa

FIELD RESEARCH IN NEPAL : INFOGRAPHICS !

The visit to Burunchuli is an hour from Kathmandu, the capital. Since it is situated on top of a hill, farmers do not have space for farming. Some of their fields are situated two hours away from their homes and many have to walk steep roads for those two hours to reach their fields. Moreover, carrying their yield in times of harvest causes a lot of backache. Most of the famers are women and often bring their children along with them to the fields. All these information from the field research gave us a better understanding of our users needs and wants. The major problem for the farmers in Burunchuli is that of space and irrigation, both which can be addressed by our product!

After introducing the product, I received a lot of questions: How can such a small looking product sustain a whole family? How do we take the crop out from the farm? Can we grow food from the seed itself or do we need the plant itself? How many times do we need to clean the water for the fishes? How many times do we need to water the plants? Through these questions, they were able to understand the product better. One of the farmers asked if I could leave the prototype so that he could start experimenting with the farm! Thus, the response was positive and we are looking forward to developing the product according to their needs.

FIELD WORK AND INTERVIEWS ! / Published January 12, 2016 by Tsering Kenji Sherpa

FIELD WORK AND INTERVIEWS !

https://vimeo.com/151538347

See Chameli testing the product in the video!

The second field trip had several goals but the most important ones were: 1. To interview people in order to know their needs in terms of food security, 2. To check how informative our manual is, and lastly was to observe how many people would be interested in our product.
Below are short glimpses from the interview done with one of our potential users:

Name: Chameli
Marital status: Married, 1 daughter
Occupation: Shopkeeper
Address: Burunchuli, Mannegaun

Earthquake/aid:
Experience: “I was in the field when the earthquake came, everything started shaking and I ran towards my children who were in the field with me as well. Their father is a driver so he was in Kathmandu. I could not contact him. We stayed in the field for some time. I could see our house shaking, the whole hill was shaking, I thought everything was over then.”

Aid: “We received 15,000 from the government. But after the earthquake, all the prices increased, it took 2000 just to fit a small window”

Daily life and Struggles:
Life before and after earthquake:
“Of course its harder now, before we had a house, now we don’t have any. We are still living in temporary houses even after 8 months." Due to the blockade, my husband does not have any work because there is no petrol."

Product:
Monetary or non- monetary aid: “I would prefer to learn skills than receive monetary aid, money only lasts for some time but skills lasts for all your life”

Product: “I need to walk two – hours to get to my field, with this I can set it up just outside my house. Also my expenses for buying vegetable might be saved. I would definitely use it if I received one."

(Chameli was also asked to set up the farm using the manual, on the photograph)

FAQ or what is imPACKt all about / Published January 10, 2016 by Sofya Abramchuk

FAQ or what is imPACKt all about

We thought it would be a good idea to have a recap of our project in one place- sweet and short questions answered.

Prototype Report / Published January 10, 2016 by Sofya Abramchuk

Prototype Report

In order to develop our technology, we had to create our own DIY aquaponic system. For the prototype, we had several questions to answer:
How many plants can we fit into a greenhouse and fish needed for the system to work? What is the minimum size of an aquaponic system? What are the types of plants we can grow in our climate and how much harvest we will have?

After going through numerous youtube videos and reading all of the FAO's PDF on small aquaponic systems, we created the first prototype. The conclusion for the first equation was that the size of the fish tank we had determined how many fish we will need and this limited the number of plants we can have. Although, this was a constraint, it is always possible to add more fish and connect it to the system.

For the next, iterated prototype we need to test:
Assembly and disassembly in one go (in a set time-frame) after analysing and improving the product
Analysis of the components to figure out which ones can be or should be replaced for better efficiency

For the purpose of sending a prototype of an aquaponic system, we created a smaller version of the tower, that can be taken by Tsering with her to Nepal. It was pretty simple for her to transport the system, as well as set it up in a new location. Meanwhile, we improved the prototype, by creating flat packed lid for the tower, and different designs of cups for the plants.

Live Prototype Testing / Published January 10, 2016 by Sofya Abramchuk

Live Prototype Testing

https://youtu.be/cCWgLzND0Gs

During our field research in Nepal, we asked a potential user, an owner of a restaurant to test our product. We gave him the manual, and all of the necessary details (except for the fish tank and plants). From the testing, we saw that the tower has to be fixed to easier to build, the manual has to be structured differently and there are some mistakes in it. But in general, the feedback was very positive, as the user was able to set the system very quickly even without text instructions!

Our Mission

Anywhere where emergency relief is needed, food aid distribution ine ciencies leave much food to waste, and many people stay food-deprived. ImPACKt farms are at-packed aquaponic farm kits that can be sent as a post-relief measure, simple to install and scale-up, providing constant food-security to communities while the agricultural sector recovers.

Our Background

ImPACKt Farm’s team members share 6 nationalities and have lived in 8 countries throughout their lives. We are a multidisciplinary group of students and professionals that came together for their love for changing the world. We are architects, food scientists, designers, and business experts who complement each other in a highly eficient manner. We are driven by our mutual passion in making sure the world can continue enjoying food in the years to come. We strive to come up with a solution that will change this world and will contribute to providing food security of less advantaged people. We believe in the concept of abundance of resource, handwork, dedication and are passionate about the solution we think will create a true impact in this world.

FIELD RESEARCH IN NEPAL : INFOGRAPHICS ! / Published January 13, 2016 by Tsering Kenji Sherpa

FIELD RESEARCH IN NEPAL : INFOGRAPHICS !

The visit to Burunchuli is an hour from Kathmandu, the capital. Since it is situated on top of a hill, farmers do not have space for farming. Some of their fields are situated two hours away from their homes and many have to walk steep roads for those two hours to reach their fields. Moreover, carrying their yield in times of harvest causes a lot of backache. Most of the famers are women and often bring their children along with them to the fields. All these information from the field research gave us a better understanding of our users needs and wants. The major problem for the farmers in Burunchuli is that of space and irrigation, both which can be addressed by our product!

After introducing the product, I received a lot of questions: How can such a small looking product sustain a whole family? How do we take the crop out from the farm? Can we grow food from the seed itself or do we need the plant itself? How many times do we need to clean the water for the fishes? How many times do we need to water the plants? Through these questions, they were able to understand the product better. One of the farmers asked if I could leave the prototype so that he could start experimenting with the farm! Thus, the response was positive and we are looking forward to developing the product according to their needs.

FIELD WORK AND INTERVIEWS ! / Published January 12, 2016 by Tsering Kenji Sherpa

FIELD WORK AND INTERVIEWS !

https://vimeo.com/151538347

See Chameli testing the product in the video!

The second field trip had several goals but the most important ones were: 1. To interview people in order to know their needs in terms of food security, 2. To check how informative our manual is, and lastly was to observe how many people would be interested in our product.
Below are short glimpses from the interview done with one of our potential users:

Name: Chameli
Marital status: Married, 1 daughter
Occupation: Shopkeeper
Address: Burunchuli, Mannegaun

Earthquake/aid:
Experience: “I was in the field when the earthquake came, everything started shaking and I ran towards my children who were in the field with me as well. Their father is a driver so he was in Kathmandu. I could not contact him. We stayed in the field for some time. I could see our house shaking, the whole hill was shaking, I thought everything was over then.”

Aid: “We received 15,000 from the government. But after the earthquake, all the prices increased, it took 2000 just to fit a small window”

Daily life and Struggles:
Life before and after earthquake:
“Of course its harder now, before we had a house, now we don’t have any. We are still living in temporary houses even after 8 months." Due to the blockade, my husband does not have any work because there is no petrol."

Product:
Monetary or non- monetary aid: “I would prefer to learn skills than receive monetary aid, money only lasts for some time but skills lasts for all your life”

Product: “I need to walk two – hours to get to my field, with this I can set it up just outside my house. Also my expenses for buying vegetable might be saved. I would definitely use it if I received one."

(Chameli was also asked to set up the farm using the manual, on the photograph)

FAQ or what is imPACKt all about / Published January 10, 2016 by Sofya Abramchuk

FAQ or what is imPACKt all about

We thought it would be a good idea to have a recap of our project in one place- sweet and short questions answered.

Prototype Report / Published January 10, 2016 by Sofya Abramchuk

Prototype Report

In order to develop our technology, we had to create our own DIY aquaponic system. For the prototype, we had several questions to answer:
How many plants can we fit into a greenhouse and fish needed for the system to work? What is the minimum size of an aquaponic system? What are the types of plants we can grow in our climate and how much harvest we will have?

After going through numerous youtube videos and reading all of the FAO's PDF on small aquaponic systems, we created the first prototype. The conclusion for the first equation was that the size of the fish tank we had determined how many fish we will need and this limited the number of plants we can have. Although, this was a constraint, it is always possible to add more fish and connect it to the system.

For the next, iterated prototype we need to test:
Assembly and disassembly in one go (in a set time-frame) after analysing and improving the product
Analysis of the components to figure out which ones can be or should be replaced for better efficiency

For the purpose of sending a prototype of an aquaponic system, we created a smaller version of the tower, that can be taken by Tsering with her to Nepal. It was pretty simple for her to transport the system, as well as set it up in a new location. Meanwhile, we improved the prototype, by creating flat packed lid for the tower, and different designs of cups for the plants.

Live Prototype Testing / Published January 10, 2016 by Sofya Abramchuk

Live Prototype Testing

https://youtu.be/cCWgLzND0Gs

During our field research in Nepal, we asked a potential user, an owner of a restaurant to test our product. We gave him the manual, and all of the necessary details (except for the fish tank and plants). From the testing, we saw that the tower has to be fixed to easier to build, the manual has to be structured differently and there are some mistakes in it. But in general, the feedback was very positive, as the user was able to set the system very quickly even without text instructions!

Our Team

Our Mission

Anywhere where emergency relief is needed, food aid distribution ine ciencies leave much food to waste, and many people stay food-deprived. ImPACKt farms are at-packed aquaponic farm kits ...Read More

Our Background

ImPACKt Farm’s team members share 6 nationalities and have lived in 8 countries throughout their lives. We are a multidisciplinary group of students and professionals that came together ...Read More

The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.