Adaptive Agriculture & Aquaponics

INMED is a global leader in facilitating adaptive agriculture and aquaponics projects in developing regions to help vulnerable communities thrive physically, socially and economically.

At the heart of our program is INMED Aquaponics®, an innovative agricultural technique that integrates fish farming with hydroponics (soilless crop production) in a closed system that provides year-round harvests, requires no chemicals or fertilizers and consumes 90% less water and far less energy while producing crop yields at least 10 times higher than traditional farming.

Combined with hands-on and virtual technical training, business education, access to financing and links to markets, INMED Aquaponics® has been a game changer for marginalized individuals and subsistence farmers. With active projects on three continents, INMED Aquaponics® is providing food security, climate-change resilience and sustainable incomes to those who need it most.

Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles Education

Nutrition and healthy lifestyles education has been a cornerstone of INMED’s work for more than 30 years and has improved the lives of millions of children. Our programs are designed to ensure lasting behavior change among school-aged children through integration of health and nutrition education as part of their curricula. In this way, children become agents of change with great influence on their families and communities.

Through engaging participatory activities, children learn about the importance of nutrition, physical activity and healthy choices. Access to fresh, nutritious food via school gardens is a key component of our nutrition and healthy lifestyles education. Teachers incorporate the gardens into their lesson plans, while INMED program coordinators provide training to school food preparers and parents on how to integrate more fresh food in children’s meals at school and at home. Outcome evaluations have demonstrated dramatic reductions in obesity and malnutrition among children in participating schools.

Maternal & Child Health

Indigenous, impoverished and under-educated women living in remote or disadvantaged communities often lack access to adequate health care, leading to high maternal and infant mortality rates. Women living in poverty also often lack the skills and resources to raise healthy children, potentially leading to child abuse and neglect or other poor outcomes in child development.

INMED has developed a large portfolio of highly successful programs to help children get a healthy start in life and provide their mothers with education and mentoring to raise resilient children. Ongoing programs range from intestinal worm treatment and prevention, neonatal jaundice care and community health worker training to parent education and intensive case management for at-risk families. INMED has a stellar record of improving child development outcomes among participating families.

Youth Development and Sustainable Livelihoods

Giving children a healthy start in life and opportunities to thrive into adulthood have been key drivers of INMED’s work for more than 30 years. Youth development is a critical component of breaking complex cycles of poverty today and for future generations—particularly in the high-unemployment regions where INMED works.

INMED uses a combination of hands-on and distance learning to help young people develop marketable skills that lead to sustainable incomes. In South Africa, for example, INMED’s Health in Action program trains unemployed youth to lead fun participatory education and activities on nutrition, physical fitness and healthy lifestyles during daily recess time. Called Break Time Buddies, they also maintain school gardens and assist teachers with their lessons. In the U.S., INMED offers STEM enrichment, financial literacy and workforce development training to narrow the opportunity gaps for disadvantaged youth and young adults.

INMED also is leveraging its aquaponics program as an incubator for emerging entrepreneurs. Through multi-sector partnerships, INMED’s Aquaponics Social Enterprise provides technical and business training, access to financing and links to markets for smallholder farmers, women and youth to launch their own aquaponics enterprises. INMED’s school-based systems are being integrated into core curricula as a means of vocational education in addition to serving as a source of income for schools.