Driven by and belief that Egypt urgently needs to modernise its farming sector by creating solutions that contribute to water conservation, food security and the production of clean, healthy foods, Faris Farrag launched his business, Bustan Aquaponics. This eco-friendly alternative alleviates pressure on his country’s natural resources. Aquaponics is a system combining aquaculture and soilless growing. Plants are fed with the waste from aquatic animals. In turn, they purify the water, which then returns to the fish. Microbial organisms also provide the plants with nutrients, ensuring sustainable, high-quality and healthy vegetable production. The idea of using aquaponics was inspired by a worrying situation in Egypt. The country is suffering from food security and water scarcity issues. In response, Faris launched Bustan Aquaponics to reduce dependence on imported food without compromising scarce drinking water supplies. Using this technique, the start-up now produces several food products, which are sold on the Egyptian market, and has even become the country’s largest producer of certain products.

Since its launch, Bustan Aquaponics has experienced immediate success and the company’s customers include major restaurants and supermarkets as well as traditional markets. But that’s not all! Using no pesticides and 90% less water than conventional farming techniques, Bustan Aquaponics is also a hit with the public. More and more Egyptians are using the company’s home delivery service, attracted by the quality of the produce and Faris Farrag’s environmentally-friendly ethos.


The SwitchMed initiative is funded by the European Union. Its activities benefit 8 countries in the Southern Mediterranean: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. Through policy development, demonstration activities and networking opportunities, SwitchMed supports and connects stakeholders to scale-up eco and social innovations. The programme supports policy makers, eco-innovative small and medium sized enterprises, industries, start-ups and entrepreneurs in the Southern Mediterranean countries, which have identified job creation and natural resource protection as priority issues that also contribute to their economic stability.

The Switchers

The Switchers is a community of inspiring green entrepreneurs and changemakers in the Mediterranean region. It is also a place where entrepreneurs that share a common passion for the environment can meet. Switchers are green and circular businesses implementing eco-innovative solutions that contribute to sustainable and fair consumption and production models. They are active in a variety of fields, such as sustainable farming, green construction, sustainable textiles and cosmetics, eco-tourism, renewable energy, or waste management.

#EyesOnGreen (2021)

To celebrate the World Environment Day in 2021, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), the EU Neighbours South regional communication programme, and the SwitchMed initiative teamed up for the launch of the regional competition EYES ON GREEN. The competition covered 7 countries of the Southern Neighbourhood region: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia. The online ...

Employment & Entrepreneurship