PODCAST BAQUA001 Sara Crappé and Saskia Buysens of PCG, Belgium

Welcome to our first ever podcast from the British Aquaponics Association – it was a huge privilege to visit PCG in Belgium as part of our Summer 2017 tour of Aquaponic Facilities – Listen on ITUNES, or if you don’t use itunes listen here. And here is PCG in the GeoDirectory.


So – what is PCG? The PCG (Provincial Centre for Vegetable East Vlaanderen) is active in the field of public and private research and education, in open or closed knowledge system as the client prefers. Their activities take place in cooperation with the government, private companies and other research centres at home and abroad.

PCG is a practice centre for “research and education in the vegetable”. The PCG activities are grouped into 4 knowledge units:

  • outdoor Vegetable
  • vegetable crops under shelter
  • taste and consumer research
  • innovation

Additionally PCG also provides services such as information about water management Businesses Water Portal , an East Flemish info counter with PCG as coordinator, soil analysis and fertilization advice and operation of CVBB where PCG is coordinator for East Flanders. The Department of flavor – and consumer research – PCG specialized in the sensory analysis of fruit and vegetables , the quality of fruits and vegetables measured by the human senses. In addition, the PCG conducts qualitative and quantitative consumer research through focus groups and surveys.

The Aquaponics Setup –

PCG’s System consists of:

Aquaculture area

9 fish tanks in an isolated area outside the conservatory;
9 drum filters for automatic mechanical water treatment;
9 bio filters for biological water treatment;
9 catch basin for nutrient-rich process water.

Water technical area

Fertilizer unit with three selections A and B basins, acid base and dietary element basin;
9 daily stocks;
Chlorine dioxide dosage installation for water sanitation based on online measurement.

Horticultural area

9 hanging gutters for substrate cultivation of tomatoes under glass;
9 drip systems controlled by the climate computer;
9 catch basins for drainage water.

Mentioned in the Show

The two businesses that PCG has been performing research for – mentioned in the show are Aqua4C (who we also interviewed – podcast coming soon) and TomatoMasters.

Here are a few photograph’s from the visit:

And of interest to you may also be a research paper that Sara and Saskia co-authored –

Sigurnjak, Ivona, Evi Michels, Sara Crappé, Saskia Buysens, Filip MG Tack, and Erik Meers. “Utilization of derivatives from nutrient recovery processes as alternatives for fossil-based mineral fertilizers in commercial greenhouse production of Lactuca sativa L.” Scientia Horticulturae 198 (2016): 267-276.