of the FrontAg Nexus project

Agricoltura di frontiera

Climate-smart and water-saving
agri-food technologies


A method of soil-less or semi-soilless plant cultivation, horizontal or vertical. Instead, plants are grown in a nutrient-rich water solution that provides all the necessary elements for their growth. Hydroponic systems can vary in complexity, ranging from simple setups like nutrient film technique (NFT) and deep water culture (DWC) to more advanced systems like aeroponics. By eliminating the need for soil, hydroponics offers several advantages, including a very efficient water usage, faster growth rates, higher yields, and the ability to grow plants in areas with limited space, limited water, or poor soil quality. Hydroponics is a prime example of a closed cycle technology.

#hydroponic; #urbanfarming; #soilless; #pesticidefree


A sustainable farming method that combines aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics. It is a closed-loop system where plants and fish mutually benefit each other. The fish waste provides nutrients for the plants, while the plants filter and purify the water for the fish. The system works by circulating water from the fish tank to the plant beds, where bacteria convert the fish waste into a form of nutrients that the plants can absorb. As the plants take up these nutrients, they clean the water, which is then recirculated back to the fish tank. Aquaponics requires minimal water usage compared to traditional farming, and there is no need for synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. It allows for the production of both fish and fresh vegetables in a sustainable and efficient manner.

#aquaponics; #aquaponicssystem; #tilapia; #catfish

Allevament di insetti

Also known as insect rearing or insect husbandry, involves the controlled cultivation of insects for various purposes. It is gaining recognition as a sustainable and alternative form of protein production. Insect farms breed and raise insects, such as mealworms, crickets, and black soldier flies, in controlled environments. These insects are rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. They can be used as a direct food source for human consumption or as feed for livestock and aquaculture.

Insect farming has a significantly smaller environmental footprint compared to traditional livestock farming, requiring less land, water, and feed resources. Additionally, insects can efficiently convert organic waste into valuable nutrients, making them beneficial for waste management.

#insectfarming; #insectfarm; #bsf; #zerowaste; #fishfeed

Vermicultura / vermicomposting

Also known as vermicomposting, is the practice of using worms to decompose organic waste and convert it into nutrient-rich compost. It involves creating a controlled environment where specific species of worms, such as red wigglers, are cultivated in bins or beds. The worms consume the organic waste, breaking it down through digestion, and their castings (worm manure) become a valuable fertilizer known as vermicompost. Vermiculture offers several advantages, including efficient organic waste management and the production of high-quality organic fertilizer. The process is environmentally friendly, as it minimizes the release of greenhouse gases that would occur in conventional waste disposal methods. Vermiculture can be practiced at various scales, from small-scale home composting to large-scale commercial operations.

#vermicompost; #compost; #composting


A sustainable approach that combines agricultural production with solar energy generation. It can involves installing solar panels above agricultural fields, creating dual land use. The panels provide shade to the crops, reducing evaporation and heat stress, while simultaneously generating renewable energy. Panels can also be used to drive pumps to recirculate water in aquaponics systems or to pump nutrient-rich water solutions up for vertical hydroponics systems. This innovative approach offers several benefits, including increased crop and fish productivity, it contributes to the expansion of renewable energy capacity, reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Agrophotovoltaics represents a promising solution for addressing the challenges of land scarcity, food and nutrition insecurity, and clean energy generation in a mutually beneficial manner.

#agriphotovoltaic; #Agrophotovoltaic; #agripv; #solar

Agri-food technologies & expected results

FrontAg Nexus delineates socio-innovative adaptation experiments (i.e., demonstration cases). FrontAg Nexus plans for 10+ demonstration cases in 6 countries: Italy, Israel, Morocco, Jordan, Tunisia, and Türkiye. Depending on the most severe WEFE Nexus constraints, Mediterranean partners select one or several frontier agri-food technologies with varying degrees of complexity as innovation actions and develop best-fit prototypes and proof of concepts that are climate-smart and minimize the pressure on water, land, energy, and biodiversity. In doing so, frontier agricultural innovations will be suitable for rural and urban contexts (e.g., roof top gardening) and could be exercised by both experienced and novice farmers (e.g., young adults or refugees).

FrontAg Nexus is targeting farming-based stakeholders, including refugees, women and young adults, start-ups, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as cooperatives within the supply and value chains related to frontier agriculture – not to forget renewable energy practitioners and policy makers.

Frontier agricultural technologies such as hydroponics, aquaponics, insect farming, vermiculture, and agri-photovoltaic can sustainably expand the frontiers of current agri-food production in the Mediterranean Region. For instance, hydroponics, aquaponics, or insect farming leverage scarce resources, because they require limited arable land, water, energy, wealth, and reduce waste. Thus, frontier agriculture contributes to improve livelihoods, including food and nutrition security (FNS), job creation, entrepreneurship, skill enhancement, and will reduce the pressure on WEFE resources. Frontier agriculture is equally suitable for rural and urban contexts and could be exercised by both experienced and novice farmers. Frontier agricultural technologies can be combined in a modular fashion to simultaneously address multiple challenges related to the WEFE Nexus. Frontier agriculture is a ‘multi-solving’ approach, in other words multiple challenges can be addressed with a single investment of time and money. The multi-solving approach has great relevance in this era of complex, interlinked, social, and environmental challenges as reflected by the thrive for a sustainable WEFE Nexus

Frontier agricultural technologies can sustainably expand the frontiers of current agri-food production in the Mediterranean Region

Frontier agriculture is a ‘multi-solving’ approach, in other words multiple challenges can be addressed with a single investment of time and money.