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Integrated fish-pig farming in India

by S.D. Tripathi and B.K. Sharma

Fish-pig farming material flow

The raising of pigs can fruit-fully be combined with fish culture by constructing animal housing units on the pond embankment or over the pond in such a way that the wastes are directly drained into the pond. The system has obvious advantages:

Fish-pig farming material flow

Culture practices

The ponds measuring about 1 000 mē may be located near your house, so that you can take care of the fish and pigs and can discourage poaching.

Check and repair the dikes. The pond should be deep enough so as to retain more than 1 m water depth during the dry period.

Pond preparation

Drain and dry the pond to remove all the weeds and fish fauna remaining in the pond. If it is not possible to drain the pond, all the fish can be killed by applying 15 kg of both bleaching powder and urea for a 1 000 mē pond. Alternatively, 250 kg Mahua oil cake can be applied which kills all the fishes and also acts as organic pond fertilizer.

Pigs are brought to the pond before stocking the fish, so no basal application of manure is required.


Stock the pond with fingerlings 7 days after poisoning with bleaching powder. The recommended rate of stocking is:

Alterations can be made on stocking density and species ratio, depending on the local conditions.

Grass carp should be fed regularly with aquatic or terrestrial vegetation. Liming of the pond is done at regular intervals. It helps in stabilization of organic matter. About 25 kg lime shall be required for one year.


Due to abundance of natural food in the fish-pig pond, the fish attains marketable size within a few months. Partial harvesting, therefore, should be done three times, depending upon the growth of fish. Final harvesting may be done after 10-12 months.

Pig raising

The number of pigs required will depend upon the pond area. The excreta of three pigs are sufficient to fertilize a pond of 1 000 mē. So three pigs may be raised on a pond of 0.1 ha. As pigs attain slaughter size within 5-6 months and fish raising of Indian exotic carp is done for 10-12 months, two lots of pigs can be raised along with one lot of fish.

The pigsties are constructed on the pond embankments in such a way that the washings are drained to the pond through a delivery channel. A diversion channel is always provided to divert the excreta away from the ponds as these develop algal bloom or any other abnormality. Washings of pigsties are drained into the pond after sunrise to avoid oxygen depletion.

The pigsties can be constructed from any available cheap materials but the floor must be cemented with a slope towards the pond. Each pig is provided with a floor space of 1-1.5 mē.

Calendar of activities for fish-pig farming

Budget (in rupee) for fish-pig farming in 0.1 ha pond

Cash flow for integrated fish-pig farming for 0.1 ha pond

1.Cash inflow starts in December when the partial harvesting of fish is done.
2.Harvesting of first lot of pigs increases the cash flow in January.
3.Cash inflow in March. May is due to second and third partial harvesting of fish.

Issues for further considerations

Extremely resource-poor households may find it difficult to adopt the technology, as this requires the pigs to be penned up. In small-scale rural farms, pigs are typically permitted to roam and scavenge for their feed as this avoids the investment and effort of penning and then providing feed. On the other hand, in farming systems where pigs are penned, this technology will be more applicable.

In constructing the pig pen adjacent to the pond, it should be considered that urine contains a high proportion of the waste value, and water-resistant flooring would be required, but this may be expensive or unaffordable. Plastic sheeting under wooden slatted floors has been used successfully to allow collection of animal urine for use in ponds.

Another country for which an example of this technology can be given is northern Viet Nam where the potential of backyard pig-fish rearing is even more successful. This system has been well studied and analysed.

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