Stafford student trying to solve world hunger problem


STAFFORD, Kan. (KSNW) – High school graduations are just a few months away, and while some high school seniors are focused on getting through their last school year, one student is focused on something else — finding a way to end world hunger.

“About 21,000 people a day die of hunger and hunger-related causes,” said Stafford High School senior, Luke Alpers.

He said it was a staggering statistic about world hunger, and wanted to do something about it.

“To know that I have the knowledge to be able to feed somebody else, I feel that I have to take it around the world and take it to places where food isn’t as available,” Alpers said.

At Stafford High, he is studying aquaponics. Alpers described it as a “perpetual food production system.”

A system that raises fish, and uses the fishes’ excretion to help grow nutrient rich plants — such as watercress, kale and duckweed.

Alpers said this system could possibly feed people in parts of the world where food is scarce.

“The system itself doesn’t produce high volumes of food,” he said. “But each family could have a system like this and produce a high volume of food for their family.”

Alpers hopes to go around the world to show people how the aquaponics system works, saying that it saves about 90% of water — compared to the traditional method of farming.

He also wants to show people how you can create one with just recycled items.

Alpers told KSN that he plans to use his time in college developing more contacts with world agencies, so that one day, he can help change that staggering statistic.

“It doesn’t matter to me if I get credit for the idea or if I make money off of the idea,” said Alpers. “The idea is to feed hungry people, and that’s my passion.”

Alpers has already received many awards for his research on aquaponics. He just applied for an internship with the world food prize foundation, where he’d get to work around the world for the summer. He is still waiting for those results.

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