Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Huzhou Mulberry-dyke and Fish Pond System, China

GIAHS since 2017

Zhejiang Huzhou Mulberry-dyke & Fish-pond System originated more than 2500 years ago and includes many traditional and agroecological knowledge. It includes the cultivation of mulberry-dyke trees, silk rearing, fish cultivation and is based on a very complex irrigation and drainage system. This system allows many farmers to respond to their needs, protecting a huge biodiversity as well as a complex landscape.

The system is a comprehensive and multi-dimensional eco-agricultural system integrating several agricultural production modes working in symbiosis:

1. Mulberry tree cultivation provide leaves for silkworm rearing;

2. Silkworm feces provide food to feed fishes;

3. Fish-raising in ponds are located nearby the mulberry fields.

Every winter, the rich mud at the bottom of the Fish-pond and the rivers is dug up to the dykes as mulberry fertilizer, improving dyke soil, reducing chemical fertilizers.

The symbiosis does not only take place between plants-insects-fishes but also within the fish production. Indeed, there are mainly four types of fishes with different biological characteristics farmed in the system: they respectively live on different layers of the water body ensuring different “tasks” to reduce the threats of bio aggressors.

News

New agricultural heritage sites; farming in harmony with nature

Mulberry cultivation in China, in this case in Zhejiang Huzhou, is sometimes carried out alongside fish-ponds. FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo said "the sites are not about a nostalgic past but offer solutions for the present and the future."

Brochure

Presentation of two GIAHS sites that rely on agroecology

Chiloé agriculture is a highly integrated and self-sufficient system. It relies on the agrobiodiversity supported by traditional agricultural practices to efficiently use natural resources from the sea, forest and livestock for soil health improvement and for integrated pest management. And also, Huzhou Mulberry-dyke and Fish Pond System includes traditional and agroecological knowledge through the cultivation of mulberry trees, silkworm rearing, and fish cultivation, based on a complex irrigation system. This system allows farmers to meet their needs, while protecting biodiversity and the landscape.

Flickr Album

CHINA- Huzhou Mulberry-dyke and Fish Pond System