Culture of fish in rice fields

Culture of fish in rice fields

Edited by
Matthias Halwart
Modadugu V.Gupta

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
The WorldFish Center


FAO and The WorldFish Center.
Halwart, M. and M.V. Gupta (eds.) 2004. Culture of fish in rice fields. FAO and The WorldFish Center, 83p.

Rice is presently grown in 113 countries. Rice farming also offers a suitable environment for the culture of fish and other aquatic organisms. This publication synthesizes the available information on the role that aquaculture can play in rice-based farming systems towards food security and poverty alleviation. The review describes the history behind integrating aquaculture with different rice ecosystems, the various production systems in operation such as concurrent, rotational and alternate, the modifications needed to the fields in order to integrate fish with rice farming, and the agronomic and aquaculture management that is necessary. The benefits of integration to communities - economic and environmental - are also described with reviews of the experiences from various countries. The real impacts of rice-fish farming and its future potential in terms of improved income and nutrition are significant but generally underestimated and undervalued. Notable changes have taken place in pest management in rice farming, and in fish seed production and availability making this a particularly relevant moment for emphasizing the importance of rice-fish farming. There is considerable potential for rice-fish farming to expand further in many countries and to contribute substantially towards global food and nutritional security.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. History

3. The Rice Field Ecosystem


3.1 Types of Rice and Ecosystem


3.2 The Wet Rice Field Ecosystem


3.2.1. Factors affecting fish and other aquatic organisms


3.2.2. Factors affecting plants


3.2.3. Rice field fauna


3.2.4. Impact of aquatic fauna on the rice field ecosystem


3.2.5. The rice field as a fish culture system

4. Modification of Rice Fields for Fish Culture


4.1 Increasing Dike (Bund) Height


4.2 Provisions of Weirs or Screens


4.3 Provision of Drains


4.4 Fish Refuges


4.4.1. Trenches


4.4.2. Fish pits or sumps


4.4.3. Ponds in rice fields


4.4.4. Rice fields in ponds


4.4.5. Ponds connected to rice fields


4.4.6. Fish pen within a rice field

5. Production Systems


5.1 Concurrent Culture


5.1.1. Rice and fish


5.1.2. Rice and fish with livestock


5.1.3. Rice and crustaceans


5.1.4. Concurrent but compartmentalized culture


5.2 Rotational Culture


5.2.1. Fish as a second crop


5.2.2. Crustaceans as a second crop


5.3 Alternating Culture System

6. Agronomic and Aquaculture Management


6.1 Pre-Stocking Preparation


6.2 Water Needs and Management


6.3 Fertilization


6.4 Rice Varieties


6.5 The Fish Stock


6.5.1. Species


6.5.2. Fry and fingerling supply


6.5.3. Stocking pattern and density


6.5.4. Fish nutrition and supplemental feeding

7. Rice-Fish Production


7.1 Fish Yields


7.1.1. Rice-fish


7.1.2. Rice-fish-azolla


7.1.3. Rice and crustacean


7.1.4. Polyculture


7.2 Rice Yields

8. Pest Management


8.1 Managing Pests with Fish Present


8.2 Management of Rice Field Weeds


8.3 Management of Invertebrates


8.3.1. Management of insect pests


8.3.2. Management of Snails


8.4 Management of Diseases

9. Impact of Rice-Fish Culture


9.1 Economics of Production


9.1.1. The "bottom line"


9.1.2. Input analysis


9.2 Benefits to Communities


9.2.1. Improved income status of farmers


9.2.2. Improved Nutrition


9.2.3. Public Health


9.2.4. Social Impact


9.3 Impact on the Environment


9.3.1. Biodiversity


9.3.2. Water resources


9.3.3. Sustainability


9.4 Participation of Women


9.5 Macro-Economic Impact

10. Experiences of Various Countries


10.1 East Asia


10.2 SouthEast Asia


10.3 South Asia


10.4 Australia


10.5 Africa, Middle East and West Asia


10.6 Europe


10.7 The Former Soviet Union


10.8 South America and the Caribbean


10.9 The United States

11. Prospects and Program for the Future


11.1 Prospects


11.2 Major Issues and Constraints


11.3 Research and Development Needs


11.4 Institutional Policy and Support Services


11.4.1. Mainstreaming rice-fsh farming


11.4.2. Popularization of the concept


11.4.3. Training and education


11.4.4. Fingerling supply


11.4.5. Financing

12. Conclusion

13. References

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.
The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAO.

ISBN 983-2346-33-9

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