Sistemas Importantes del Patrimonio Agrícola Mundial (SIPAM)

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.

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CHINA- Huzhou Mulberry-dyke and Fish Pond System