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close this bookWorkshop to Produce an Information Kit on Farmer-proven. Integrated Agriculture-aquaculture Technologies (IIRR, 1992, 119 p.)
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentWorkshop of participants
View the documentBibliography on integrated farming
Open this folder and view contentsEconomic, sociocultural and environmental considerations in introducing integrated agriculture-aquaculture technology
Open this folder and view contentsIntegrated farming systems
Open this folder and view contentsAnimal-fish system
Open this folder and view contentsRice-fish systems
Open this folder and view contentsManagement for rice-fish
Open this folder and view contentsFish management and feeding
Open this folder and view contentsFish breeding and nursing


2 - 15 February 1992
IIRR, Silang, Cavite, Philippines


The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) has produced three Technology Information Kits: the Bio-lntensive Approach to Small-Scale Household Food Production, Regenerative Agriculture and the Agroforestry Technology Information Kits. These kits are so simplified that a lay person can use the information.

The kits have been shared widely in the Philippines, especially with government agencies, e.g., the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). DENR requested IIRR to develop and produce an Agroforestry Technology Information Kit for the Department's 1,200 social forestry technicians for its nationwide Social Forestry Program.

The kits have also been extensively distributed outside the Philippines as part of IlRR's collaborative training with other agencies and development organizations.

In the same manner, IIRR and the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM) highly value the idea of developing an Integrated Agriculture-Aquaculture Technology Information Kit to help improve the quality of life of the millions of small-scale farmers. These kits are usually best produced by inviting resource persons to a workshop for presentation of their ideas. At the workshop, the ideas and concepts are reviewed and critiqued by fellow participants. Communication specialists and design staff assist in the layout and in graphic work. The materials are thus revised and reviewed again until all changes are acceptable. The kits are unique in that the contents are presented as single concept, practical ideas for immediate application and use. These are not conventional papers but technology information sheets. What is also unique about the process is that these materials are generated by bringing scientists, development workers and communication specialists to a workshop to jointly develop such materials.


The following outputs are expected at the end of the workshop:

1. 2,000 copies of the Farmer-Proven Integrated Agriculture-Aquaculture Technology Information Kit (1,000 copies each for IIRR and ICLARM). The kit will be printed as a joint IIRR-ICLARM publication. Each agency will be responsible for subsequent reprinting. This kit will not be copyrighted to allow for reprinting and wider distribution of materials. However, all subsequent printings should carry the original credits.

2. Establishment of an informal exchange mechanism for sharing information on various aspects of Integrated Agriculture-Aquaculture technologies.


Without exception, Asian policymakers planners face a crisis of continuing rural poverty. Each year, millions more children are added to the farming households without much hope of a better livelihood. Each year, millions of hectares of farming's natural resource base become further degraded. Modern farming methods with their high external inputs and economies of scale may promise food but at the cost of pollution, marginalization of the poor and fewer and fewer jobs. Somehow, small-scale farming systems must provide a reasonable rural livelihood, a clean conserved environment and adequate food, fuel and fiber products.

No doubt, new policies will be needed to protect and foster such development. No doubt, new institutions for marketing, banking and education will be needed at community, local and national levels. No doubt, a higher level' of farming management and professionalism will be required. But, all of these require governments to be serious and imaginative about rural development.

One option for sustainable development in farming is small-scale integrated agriculture and aquaculture. The diversification that comes from integrating crops, vegetables, livestock, trees and fish imparts stability in production, efficiency in resource use and conservation of the environment. Uncertainty in markets and climate is countered by a wide array of enterprises. In integrated farming, wastes of one enterprise become inputs to another and, thus, optimize the use of resources and lessen pollution. Stability in many contrasting habitats permits diversity of genetic resources and the survival of beneficial insects and other wildlife. Integrating aquaculture with agriculture offers special advantages over and above its role in waste recycling and its importance in encouraging better water management for agriculture and forestry. Fish are efficient converters of low-grade feed and wastes into high-value protein. Fish are the greatest sources of animal protein in rural Asia. For rural households, fish are small units of cash or food which can be harvested more or less at will without loss of weight or condition. While these systems are labor-intensive, they do save labor from fetching water, gathering wood and forage and fishing in nearby rivers and streams. All of these are elaborated in this technology information kit.

The many examples of integrated farming systems from around Asia that are presented in this technology information kit are not given as models to copy or emulate exactly. Rarely can such complex systems be built from scratch. Indeed, many of the technical and budget details will not apply in every case. Rather, examples are given to show what is possible and to stimulate a process of integration on the farm. What other farmers have proven is shared here to help people who work directly with farmers to facilitate the addition of new resource flows, the integration of new enterprises, the substitution of external inputs and the rehabilitation of degraded agroecosystems.

The kit suggests a procedure for evolving farming systems that share the characteristics described herein. Moreover, we have seen this procedure not only captures the many levels of integration within a single group of households, but also stimulates households to increase levels of integration.

This technology information kit seeks to stimulate people who work directly with farmers develop smallscale farms that provide a reasonable rural livelihood, a clean conserved environment and food, fuel and fiber products.

Clive Lightfoot (ICLARM) Julian Gonsalves (IIRR)


2-15 February 1992.
IIRR, Silang, Cavite, Philippines

Workshop of participants

1. Mr. Raihan Sh. Hj. Ahmad
Officer, Department of Fisheries (Malaysia)
Wisma Tani Sultan Salahuddin Road
50628 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2. Dr. MaMuzuddin Ahmed
Technical Coordinator
ICLARM - Bangladesh
Fish Culture Extension
Impact Study Project
50/1, First Floor, Road No. 11/A,
Dhanmondi R.A.Dhaka 1209, Bangladesh

3. Dr. Ahyaudin B. Ali
Associate Professor
Aquatic Biology
School of Biological Sciences
University Sains Malaysia
11800 Minden, Penang, Malaysia

4. Prof. Hu Bao-tong
Associate Professor/Director
Department of Fisheries-Economics
Asia-Pacitic Regional Research and Training Center for Integrated Fish Farmin
Wuxi City, Jiangsu 214081
People's Republic of China

5. Ms. Mary Ann P. Bimbao
Program Assistant/Economist
3rd Floor, Bloomingdale Bldg
Salcedo St., Legaspi Village
Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

6. Dr. Catalino dela Cruz
Senior Specialist
ICLARM - Philippines
3rd Floor, Bloomingdale Bldg.
Salcedo St., Legaspi Village
Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

7. Mr. Jens Peter Tang Dalsgaard
Assistant Scientist
ICLARM Philippines
3rd Floor, Bloomingdale Bldg.
Salcedo St., Legaspi Village
Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

8. Dr. Anis Diallo
Centre de Recherches Oceanograhiques DakarThiaroye (CRODT)
B.P. 2241, Dakar or
CRODT BP 427, Ziquuinchor, Senegal

9. Mr. Le Thanh Duong
Deputy Director
Farming Systems Research and Research
Development (FSRD) Center
University of Cantho
Cantho City, Hau Giang, Vietnam

10. Mr. Franklin V. Fermin
Aquaculture Specialist International Institute of Rural Reconstnuction (IIRR)
Silang 4118, Cavite, Philippines

11. Dr. Modadugu V. Gupta
Aquaculture Specialist
ICLARM - Bangladesh 50/1,
First Floor Road No. 11/A, Dhanmondi R.A.
Dhaka 1209, Bangladesh

12. Prof. Yang-Huazhu
Associate Professor/Deputy Director
Department of Integrated Fish Farming
Asia-Pacific Regional Research and Training Center for Integrated Fish Farming
Wuxi City, Jiangsu 214081 People's
Republic of China

13. Mr. Le Thanh Hun
Faculty of Fisheries
University of Agriculture and Forestry
Thu Duc, Ho Chi Minh

14. Golam Azam Kha
Senior Assistant Director
Department of Fisheries
Rajshahi Division
Rajshahi, Bangladesh

15. Mr. Min Kuanhong
Trainer/Lecturer - '
Asia-Pacific Regional Research and Training Center for
Integrated Fish Faming
Wuxi City, Jiangsu 214081
People's Republic of China
c/o Tjoenerstraat Shita
39-2 / 7416 XK Deventer

16. Mr. David Little
Assistant Professor
Division of Agricultural and Food Engineering
Asian Institute of Technology (AIT)
GPO Box 2754
Bangkok 10501, Thailand

17. Dr. Le Thanh Luu
Transfer of Technology Center/Applied Biological Department
Aquaculture Research Institute
No. 1, Dinh Bang, Tien Son
Ha Bac Hanoi Vietnam

18. Francisco Nob
Fisheries Expert
Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh (ADAB)
1/3 Block- F. Lalmatia
Dhaka, Banaladesh

19. Reg Nobel
Research Scientist
Aquaculture Project
P.O. Box 229, Zomba

  1. Dr. Mark Prein

Associate Scientist
Aquacuiture Project
Institute of Aquatic Biology
P.O. Box 38, Achimota

21.Prof. Ruben Sevillej
Freshwater Aquaculture Center
Central Luzon State University Munoz. Nueva Ecija 3120

22. Mr. Bal Krlshan Sharrna
Principal Scientist/Chief Training Organizer
Central Instiute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA)
Dhauli, Kausalyagang ,
751002 Bhubaneswar
Orlssa, Indla

23. Mr. John Sollows
Agro-Dev Canada Inc.
222 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, Canada
c/o Box 1080 RR2
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Canada B5A 4A6

24. Mr. Jose Torres
Senior Agriculturist
Department of Agriculture
Nueva Ecija Philippines

25. Dr Satyendra D. Tripathi
Dlrector Central Institute of Freshwatsr Aquaculture (CIFA)
Dhauli, Kausalyagang
751002 Bhubaneswar
Orissa India

26. Dr. Eric Worby
ICLARM - Bangladesh 50/1,
First Floor Road No.11/A Dhanmondi
R.A., Dhaka 1209

27. Prof.. Guo Yixian
Institute of Crop Brseding and Cultivation
Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)
30 Bal Shl Qiao Lu
100081, BeijinPeople's Republic of China

Workshop support staff

Technical Specialists:

1. Dr. Julian F. Gonsalves
2. Mr. Scott A. Killough
3. Dr. CliveLighffoot
4. Dr. Roger S.V. Pullin
5. Mr. Jaime P. Ronquillo

Communication Specialist:

6. Ms. Ines Vivian D. Domingo


7. Ms. Lyn Capistrano-Doren
8. Ms. Noreen Luna


9. Mr. Florante C. Belardo
10. Mr. Ricardo E. Cantada
11. Mr. Albert Contemprate
12. Mr. Mitchell Doren
13. Mr. Bemabe Remoquillo
14. Mr. Roger M. Villar

Logistical Administrative and Secretarial:

15. Ms. Gina Marie M. Bautista
16. Ms. Estella S. Kasala
17. Ms. Alelie D. Miranda
18. Ms. Angelita T. Poblete

Bibliography on integrated farming

A fish crop may Improve rice yields and riceflelds. Lighffoot, C.; Roger, P.A.; Cagauan, A.G.; Dela Cruz, C.R. 1990. Naga: ICLARM Q. 13(4):12-13. (ICLARM, MC P.O. Box 1501, Makati, Metro Manila 1299, Philippines)

A goat-fish Integrated farming system In the Phillppines, effects of stocking densities and goat manure loading rates on the yield of Oreochromis niloticus. Libuano, L.P. 1989. p. 160-170. In: Huisman, E.A.; Zonneveld, N.; Bouwmans, A.H.M. (eds.). Aquacultural-research In Asla: management techniques and nutrition. Center for Agricultural Publishing and Documentation, Pudoc, P.O. Box 4, 6700 M, Wageningen, Netherlands. (DMMSU, College of Agriculture and Forestry, Animal Science Dept., Bacnotan, La Union, Philippines)

A guide to Integrated warm water aquaculture. Little, D.; Muir, J. 1987. xxii, 238p. Stirling, Scotland, Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling. ISBN:0-901636-71-1 (pbk.). (Publisher's address: University of Stirling, Institute of Aquaculture, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland, UK)

A pilot project on Integrated livestock-fish-crop farming In the Southern Phillppines. Baconawa, E.T.; Parawan, O.O.; Bautista, G.A.; Ovalo, H.B.; Catbagan, D.P. 1987. Resour. Conserv. 13(2/4):265-272. (Philippine Asean Goat and Sheep Center, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines)

A study on rice-fish culture In coastal saline soils. Chattopadhyay, G.N.; Biswas, C.R.; Ghosh, A.; Chakraborti, P.K.; Bandopadhyay, A.K. 1987. J. Indian Soc. Coast. Agric. Res. 5(1): 245-249. (CIFRI, Barrackpore 743 101, India)

An ecological foodniche concept as a proxy for fish-pond stocking rates In Integrated aquacultural farming for Malaysla. Clonts, H.A.; Jolly, C.M.; Alsagoff, S.A.L. 1989. J. World Aquacult. Soc. 20(4):268-276. (Auburn University, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Aubum, AL 36849-5406, USA)

An economic analysis of coastal shrimp culture In a mixed farming system, Chittagong-Cox's Bazar Region, Bangladesh. Ahmed A.K.M.M. 1986. p. 153-156. In: Maclean, J.L.; Dizon, L.B.; Hosillos, L.V. (eds.). The First Asian Fisheries Forum. Asian Fisheries Society, Manila. (ICLARM, MC P.O. Box 1501, Makati, Metro Manila 1299, Philippines)

An economic assessment of rice-fish culture In the Phillppines. Bimbao, M.P.; Cruz, A.V.; Smith, l.R. 1990. p. 241-244. In: Hirano, R.; Hanyu, I. (eds.). The Second Asian Fisheries Forum. Asian Fisheries Society, Manila. (ICLARM, MC P.O. Box 1501, Makati, Metro Manila 1299, Philippines)

An Integrated fish farm In China. Castell, J.D. 1989. World Aquacult. 20(3):20-23. (Chinese Academy of Fisheries Science, Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, 19 Laiyang Road, Qingdao, Shandong Province, People's Republic of China)

An Integrated seml-lntensive shrimp and livestock system In the Phillppines. Ogburn, D.M.; Jumalon, N.A.; Sycip, M.L. 1986. p. 137-140. In: Maclean, J.L.; Dizon, L.B.; Hosillos, L.V. (eds.). The First Asian Fisheries Forum. Asian Fisheries Society, Manila. (Sycip Plantation Inc., Manjuyod, Negros Oriental 6512, Philippines)

Animal raising and plant cultivation on an Integrated fish farm. Chen, Y' NACA Tech. Man. 17217 4 7252 A 1980 1980 Network of Agricultural Aquaculture

Appropriate of rice-fish culture to upland terraced rice In Northern Thailand. Taylor, S.; Klampratum, D. 1986. 7 p. Paper presented at the Department of Agriculture Annual Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, 2328 April 1986. (Department of Agriculture, Farming Systems Research Institute, Chiang Mai, Thailand)

Border method and fish culture, synergistic effects on the yield of rice grain. Taylor, S.R.; Pakdee, B.; Klampratum, D. 1988. ICLARM Conf. Proc. (15):91-98. (AIT, G.P.O. Box 2754, Bangkok 10501, Thailand)

Carp farming Integrated with pig raising In India. Sharma, B.K.; Das M.K.; Das S.R. Environ. Ecol. 6(1):159-168. 1988.-(Krishi Vigyan Kendra and Trainers' Train. Cent., CIFRI, ICAR, Kausalyaganga, Bhubaneswar751 002, India)

Comparative economics of rice-fish culture and rice monoculture In Ubon Province, Northeast Thailand. Sollows, J.D.; Tongpan, N. 1986. p. 149-152. In: Maclean, J.L.; Dizon, L.B.; Hosillos, L.V. (ads.). The First Asian Fisheries Forum. Asian Fisheries Society, Manila. (Ubon Field Crops Research Centre, P.O. Box 69, Ubonratchathani 34000, Thailand)

Comparative study on the effects of fresh and fermented pig manure on fish yield. Han, Y.G.; Ding J.Y. NACA; Bangkok, Thailand. 1986; 6p. (NACANVP/86/32) (Jiangsu Biogas Res. Inst., People's Republic of China)

Concurrent rice-fish trials, comparing regular and border planting patterns. Halwart, M. 1991. Aquabyte. 4(1):2-3. (Central Luzon State University, Freshwater Aquaculture Center, Mufloz, Nueva Ecija 2320, Philippines)

Control of paddy pests through biological and chemical means In paddy cum fish culture system. Pandit, P.K.; Joshi H.C. Bull. Cent. Inland Fish. Res. Inst., Barrackpore. (48):13.1-5; 1986. (CIFRI, Barrackpore 743 101, West Bengal, India)

Culture of Nile tilapla (Oreochromis niloticus) In a rice-fish culture system using chemical and commercial organic fertilizers. Mang-umphan, K.; Arce, R.G. 1988. ICLARM Conf. Proc. (15):59-62. (Maejo Institute of Agricultural Technology, Dept. of Fisheries Technology, Sansai, Chiangmai 50210, Thailand)

Culture of Nile tilapia In paddles using chemical and commercial organic fertilizers. Mang-umphan, K. 1987. Thai Fish. Gaz. 40(2):135-147. (Maejo Institute of Agricultural Technology, Dept. of Fisheries Technology, Sansai, Chiangmai 50210, Thailand)

Drawing pictures of Integrated farms helps everyone, an example from Vietnam. Lighffoot, C.; Tuan, N.A. 1990. Aquabyte. 3(2):5-6. (ICLARM, MC P.O. Box 1501, Makati, Metro Manila 1299, Philippines)

Duck-fish Integration under extensive fish culture, without the use of a fish feed. Udeni, E. 1588. p. 292-306. In: Radhakrishna, P.; Singh, M.M.; John, C.K. (eds.). Proceedings of the Asian Conference on Technology for Rural Development, 2nd, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 4-7 December 1985. Singapore, World Scientific Publishing Co. (University of Peradeniya, Post-Graduate Institute of Agriculture, University Park, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka)

Duck-fish Integrated farming systems. Edwards. P. 1986. p. 267- 291. In: Farrell, D.J.; Stapleton, P. (ads.). Duck production science and world practice. Armidale, N.S.W., Australia, University of New England. (AIT, G.P.O. Box 2754, Bangkok 10501, Thailand)

Wageningen, Netherlands. (University of SainsMalaysia, School of Biological Sciences, Minden, Penang 11800, Malaysia)

Economic evaluation of paddy-prawn Integrated farming In Kerala. Sathiadhas, R.; Panikkar K.K.P.; Satyavan U.K.; Jacob T. Seafood Export J. 21(11):9-21; 1989. (Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Cochin, India)

Economics of paddy-cum-fish culture In the north eastern states of India. Ghosh, S.K.; Pathak, S.C. 1988. p. 445449. In: Mohan Joseph, M. (ad.). The First Indian Fisheries Forum. Asian Fisheries Society, Indian Branch, Mangalore, Kamataka, India. (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, Panbazar, Guwahati 781 001, Assam, India)

Effects of "veluwe" ducks on Oreochromis niloticus recruitment under extensive fish culture conditions. Edirisinghe, U. 1989. p. 116-120. In: Huisman, E.A.; Zonneveld, N.; Bouwmans, A.H.M. (eds.). AquacuHure research In Asla: management techniques and nutrition. Center for Agricultural Publisher and Documentation, Pudoc, P.O. Box 4, 6700 M, Wageningen, Netherlands. (Ministry of Fisheries, Freshwater Fish Breeding and Experiment Station, Ginigathena, Sri Lanka)

Effects of animal manure appilcation In fish pond on the bacterial diseases of fish and the food hygiene. Din, J.; Guo, X.; Fang, X.; Liu, M.; Zhang, W. 1990. p. 35-43. Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences, Freshwater Fisheries Research Center, Wuxi, China. (Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences, Freshwater Fisheries Research Center, Asian-Pacific Regional Research and Training Center for Integrated Fish Farming, Wuxi, China)

Effects of different animal manures on fish farming. Fang, Y.X.; Guo, X.Z.; Wang, J.K.; Fang, X.Z.; Liu, Z.Y. 1986. p. 117-120. In: Maclean, J.L.; Dizon, L.B.; Hosillos, L.V. (eds.). The First Asian Fisheries Forum. Asian Fisheries Society, Manila. (Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences, Freshwater Fisheries Research Center, Asian-Pacific Regional Research and Training Center for Integrated Fish Farming, Wuxi, China)

Effects of feeding rates-on production of common carp and water quality In paddy-cum-fish culture. Ghosh, S.K.; Mandal, B.K.; 13 Ofthakur, D.N. 1984. Aquaculture. 40(2):97-101. (ICAR Research Complex for N.E.H. Region, Division of Fisheries, Laban, Shillong 793 004, Meghalaya, India)

Effects of some manures on the growth and production of mayor carps In village ponds of District Birbhum, West Bengal. Mitra, B.; Gupta A.; Laha U.K. Environ. Ecol. 5(2):381-385. 1987. (Dep. Zool., Calcutta Univ., 35 Ballygunge Circular Rd., Calcutta 700 019, India)

Energy structure and efficiency of a typical Chinese Integrated farm. Li, S. 1987. Aquaculture. 65(2):105118. (Shanghai Fisheries University, Dept. of Aquaculture, 334 Jun Gong Road, Shanghai, China)

Fecal conforms as Index of pollution In an Integrated pig-fish farm system. Quines, O.D.; Vargas, R.B.; Ibarra, V.M. 1986. p. 145-147. In: Maclean, J.L.; Dizon, L.B.; Hosillos, L.V. (eds.). The First Asian Fisheries Fonum. Asian Fisheries Society, Manila. (Central Luzon State University, College of Veterinary Science and Medicine, Musoz, Nueva Ecija 2320, Philippines)

Fingeriiug production trials In rice fields In north Sumatra, Indonesia. Dela Cruz, C.R. 1989. p. 97-109. In: Huisman, E.A.; Zonneveld, N.; Bouwmans, A.H.M. (eds.). Aquaculture research In Asla: management techniques and nutrition. Center for Agricultural Publishing and Documentation, Pudoc, P.O. Box 4, 6700 M, Wageningen, Netherlands. (ICLARM, MC P.O. Box 1501, Makati, Metro Manila 1299, Philippines)

Fish-cum-livestock farming, package of practices for Increasing production. Sharma, B.K.; Das, M.K.; Chakrabarty, D.P. 1985. Aquacult. Ext. Mat. New Ser. (5):32p. (CIFRI, Barrackpore 743 101, West Bengal, India)

Fish/rice coexistence. Datta, S.N. 1981. Seafood Export J. 13(5):9, 11, 13, 15-16. (Central Inland Fisheries Research Station, Cuttack, India)

General constraints In Integrated farming systems and their remedies. Das, N.K. Bull. Cent. Inland Fish. Res. Inst., Barrackpore. (48):15.1-7. 1986. (Operational Res. Proj., CIFRl, Anjana Fish Farm, Krishnanagar, Nadia, India)

Goat/fish Integrated farming In the Phillppines. Libunao, L.P. 1990. Ambio. 19(8):408-410. (DMMSU, College of Agriculture and Forestry, Animal Science Dept., Bacnotan, La Union, Philippines)

High yield but still questions, three years of animal-fish farming. Hopkins, K.; Cruz, E.M. 1980. ICLARM Newsl. 3(4): 12-13. (ICLARM, MC P.O. Box 1501, Makati, Metro Manila 1299, Philippines)

Integrated agriculture-aquaculture In South China, the dike-pond system of the Zhujiang Delta. Ruddle, K.; Zhong, G. 1988. 173p. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 0-521 -34193-0. (11 - 20 Matsugaoko-cho, Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo-ken 662, Japan)

Integrated aquaculture systems In the Saguling Reservolr, West Java, Indonesla. Costa-Pierce, B.A.; Atmadja, G.W.; Effendi, P.; Zainal, S. 1988. p. 224-233. In: De Silva, S.S. (ed.). Reservolr fishery management and development In Asla. IDRC, P.O. Box 8500, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada KIG 3H9. (ICLARM/GTZ Africa Aquaculture Project, P.O. Box 229, Zomba, Malawi)

Integrated aquaculture-agriculture farming systems, some economic aspects. Shang, Y.C.; Costa-Pierce, B.A. 1983. J. World Maricult. Soc. 14:523-530. (University of Hawaii, Dept. of Agricuttural and Resource Economics, 2545 The Mall, Bilger Hall 304, Honolulu, Hl 96822, USA)

Integrated brackishwater farm system In Indonesla. Manik, R.; Tiensongrusmee, B. 1979. Bull. Brackishwat. Aquacult. Dev. Cent. Jepara. 5(1/2):369-376. (Brackishwater Aquaculture Development Centre, Shrimp Culture Section, P.O. Box 1, Jepara, Indonesia)

Integrated carp farming In Aslan country. Sinha, V.R.P' ln Billard R.; Marcel J. (eds.). Aquaculture of cyprinids.; L'aquaculture des cyprluldes.; 1986; p. 377-390. Coll. Hydrobiol. Aquacult. ISBN 2-85340-791-8 (Freshwat. Aquacult. Res. Train. Cent., P.O. Kausalyaganga, via Bhubaneswar 751 002, Orissa, India)

Integrated crop-livestock-fish farming. 1980. Symposium-Workshop on Integrated Crop-Livestock-Fish Farming, Los Baflos, Laguna, Philippines, 19-24 November 1979. ASPAC-FFTC book series, no.16. 147p. Taipei, Taiwan, Food and Fertilizer Technology Center, ASPAC. (Write to: Food and Fertilizer Technology Center, Agriculture Bldg., 14 Wen Chow Street, Taipei, Taiwan)

Integrated crop-livestock-fish farming. Tetangko, M.H. (ed.). 1980. Symposium-Workshop on Integrated Crop-Livestock-Fish Farming, Los Bahos, Laguna, Philippines, 1979. Book series, no. 16. 147p. Taipei, Taiwan, Food and Fertilizer Technology Center, ASPAC. (Write to: Food and Fertilker Technology Center, Agriculture Bldg., 14 Wen Chow Street, Taipei, Taiwan)

Integrated farming of broiler chickens with fish and shrimp In brackish water ponds. Pudadera, B.J., Jr.; Corre, K.C.; Coniza, E.; Taleon, G.A. 1986. p. 141-144. In: Maclean, J.L.; Dizon, L.B.; Hosillos, L.V. (eds) The First Asian Fisheries Forum Asian Fisheries Society Manila (SEAFDEC Acuaculture Dept

Integrated fish culture management In China. Yan, J. Yao, H. 1989. p. 375-408. In: Mitsch, W.J.; Joergensen, S.E. (eds.). Ecological engineering: an Introduction to ecotechnology. New York, John Wiley 8 Sons. (Academia Sinica, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Nanjing, China)

Integrated fish farming In China. Edwards, P. 1982. ICLARM Newsl. 5(3):16-17. (AIT, G.P.O. Box 2754, Bangkok 10501, Thailand)

Integrated fish farming In China. Shang, Y.C. 1988. Aquacult. Mag. 14(2):28-33. (University of Hawaii, Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 2545 The Mall, Bilger Hall 304, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA)

Integrated fish farming In Thailand. Edwards, P.; Kaewpaitoon, K. 1982. ICLARM News l. 5(3):3-4. (AIT, G.P.O. Box 2754, Bangkok 10501, Thailand)

Integrated fish-livestock-crop farming and Its role In developing rural economy. Jhingran, A.G. Bull. Cent. Inland Fish. Res. Inst., Barrackpore. (48):1.1-4. 1986. (CIFRI, Barrackpore 743101, West Bengal, India)

Integrated fish-livestock-crop farming system. Sharma, B.K.; Das, M.K. 1988. p. 27-30. In: Mohan Joseph, M. (ad.). The First Indian Fisheries Forum. Asian Fisheries Society, Indian Branch, Mangalore, Karnataka, India. (Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, KVK=C, Kausalyaganga, Bhubaneswar 751 002, Orissa, India)

Integrated livestock-fish farming In India. Jhingran V.G.; Sharma, B.K. Research plans for Integrated aquaculture.; FAO/UNDP; Dhaka, Bangladesh; 1986; p. 46-53. (CIFRI, ICAR, Barrackpore 743 101, West Bengal, India)

Integrated management of fish-cum-duck farming and Its economic efficiency and revenue. Hu, B.T.; Yang H.Z. NACA; Bangkok, Thailand; 1984; 4 pp (NACAIWP/84/14). (Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences, Freshwater Fisheries Research Center, Asian- Pacific Regional Research and Training Center for Integrated Fish Farming, Wuxi, China)

Integrated rice-fish culture, Increased productivity from deep water rice lands In West Bengal. Mukhopadhyay, P.K.; Das, D.N.; Roy, B. 1989. Naga: ICLARM Q. 12(1):6-7. (IRRI (Collaborative Projects in India), Deepwater Rice-Fish Culture Project, 75C Park Street (2nd Floor), Calcutta 700 016, India)

Integration of aquaculture and agriculture, a route to sustainable farming systems. Lighffoot, C. 1990. Naga: ICLARM Q. 13(1):9-12. (ICLARM, MC P.O. Box 1501, Makati, Metro Manila 1299, Philippines)

International research collaboration In rice-fish research. Lighffoot' C.; Dela Cruz, C.R.; Carangal, V.R. 1990. Naga: ICLARM Q. 13(4):10-11. (ICLARM, MC P.O. Box 1501, Makati, Metro Manila 1299, Philippines)

Mlcrobiological aspects In Integrated fish farming systems. Radheyshyam. Bull. Cent. Inland Fish. Res. Inst., Barrackpore. (48):17.1-17. 1986. (KVK/TTC, CIFRI, P.O. Kausalyaganga, Bhubaneswar 751 002, Orissa, India)

Mixed rice-fish fanning In India. Singh, H. Seafood Export J.; 22 (5):19-22. 1990. (Coil. Fish., Ratnagiri, Maharastta, India)

Optimal product mix for Integrated livestock-fish culture systems In limited resource farms. Engle, C.R. 1987. J. World Aquacult. Soc. 18(3):137-147. (Auburn University at Montgomery, Dept. of Economics, Montgomery, AL 36193-0401, USA)

Research and education for the development of Integrated crop-livestock-fish farming systems In the tropics. Edwards, P.; Pullin, R.S.V.; Gartner, J.A. 1988. ICLARM Stud. Rev. (16)53p. (Writeto: ICLARM, MC P.O. Box 1501, Makati, Metro Manila 1299, Philippines)

Review on development of Integrated fish farming In China. Hu, B.; Zhou, E. 1990. p. 97-110. Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences. Freshwater Fisheries Research Center, Wuxi, China. (Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences, Freshwater Fisheries Research Center, Asian-Pacific Regional and Research Training Center for Integrated Farming, Wuxi, China)

Review on recycling of animal wastes as a source of nutrients for freshwater fishculture within an Integrated livestock system. Kausar, R. 1983. 49p. Islamabad, Pakistan, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council. (Publisher's address: Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, P.O. Box No.1031, Islamabad, Pakistan)

Rice field fish culture In rainfed agricultural development area. Potipitak, K.; Kribgratok, S.; Sutheemechaikul, S. 1986. Thai Fish. Gaz. 39(6):575-582. (Publisher's address: Fisheries Extension Division, Kasetsart University Campus, Bangkhen, Bangkok 10900, Thailand)

Rice field fish culture In Surin province. Theincharoen, P. 1987. Thai Fish. Gaz. 40(3):265-269. (Write to: Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Dept. of Fisheries, Rajadamnern Avenue, Bangkok 10200, Thailand)

Rice terraces and fish, Integrated farming In the Phillppines. Bocek, A. 1982. ICLARM Newsl. 5(3):24. (1970 Hitchcock, Downer's Grove, IL 60515, USA)

Rice-cum-fish cultivations In coastal paddy fields, package of practices for Increasing production. Ghosh, A.; Chattopadhyay, G.N.; Chakraborty, P.K. 1985. Aquacult. Ext. Man. New Ser. (6): 16p. (CIFRI, Barrackpore 743 101, West Bengal, India)
Rice-fish culture In China, a review. Li, K. 1988. Aquaculture. 71(3):173-186. (Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences, Freshwater Fisheries Research Center, Asian-Pacific Regional Research and Training Center for Integrated Fish Farming, Wuxi, China)

Rice-fish culture In high rainfed coastal saline soils. Chattopadhyay, G.N.; Ghosh, A.; Biswas, C.R.; Chakraborty, P.K. 1988. p. 135-137. In: Mohan Joseph, M. (ed.) The First Indian Fisheries Forum. Asian Fisheries Society, Indian Branch, Mangalore, Karnataka, India. (CIFRI, Barrackpore 743 101, West Bengal, India)

Rice-fish culture In North East Thailand, the diversity stability link. Mackay, K.T.; Chapman, G.; Sollows, J.; Thongpan, N. 1986. 27p. Paper presented at the IFOAM Sixth International Scientific Conference, Califomia, USA, 18-21 August 1986. (ICLARM, MC P.O. Box 1501, Makati, Metro Manila 1299, Philippines)

Rice-fish culture: Status and potential for Increased production In the southwestern states of India. Subramanian, S.J. Indian Fish. Assoc. 18:103-108. 1988. (ICAR Res. Complex Goa (CPCRI), Old Goa403 402, India)

Rice-fish practices In Ifugao Province, Phillppines. Ramsey, P.1983. ICLARM Newsl. 6(3):8. (Write to: ICLARM, MC P.O. Box 1501, Makati, Metro Manila 1299, Philippines)

Rice-fish-vegetable Integrated farming, towards a sustainable ecosystem. Roy, B.; Das, D.N.; Mukhopadhyay, P.K. 1990. Naga: ICLARM Q. 13(4):17-18. (Deepwater Rice Pest Management and Rice Fish Culture Project, Rice Research Station, Chinsurah 712102, Hooghly, West Bengal, India)

Rice/fish farming In Malaysia, resource optimization. All, A.B. 1990. Ambio. 19(8):404-408. (Universiti Sains Malaysia, School of Biological Sciences, 11800, Minden, Penang, Malaysia)

Role of extension in purposeful dissemination of integrated farming system. Bhaumik, U. Bull. Cent. Inland Fish. Res. Inst., Barrackpore (48):20.1-6. 1986. (Ext. Div., CIFRI, Barrackpore 743 101, West Bengal, India)

Rotational farming of rice and fish In paddles. Dela Cruz, C.R.; Lopez, E.A. 1980. Fish. Res. J. Philipp. 5(1):39-52. (Central Luzon State University, Freshwater Aquaculture Center, Munoz, Nueva Ecija 2320, Philippines)

Small-scale Integrated farming In the Phillppines. Maclean, J.L. 1987 Naga: ICLARM Q. 10(1):11-12. (ICLARM, MC P.O. Box 1501, Makati, Metro Manila 1299, Philippines)

Some economic aspects of Integrated farming systems. Paul, S. Bull. Cent. Inland Fish. Res. Inst., Barrackpore. (48):19.1-5. 1986. (CIFRI, Barrackpore 743 101, West Bengal, India)

Spreading the word about rice fish culture. Lastimoza, P.J. 1982. PCARRD Monit. 10(5):2-3. (PCARRD, Los Batios, Laguna 4030, Philippines)

Studies on the water quality of tiger prawn, eel, and fish-cum duck ponds In southwestern Talwan. Kuo, S.P.; Ting Y.Y. COA Fish. Ser. (16):113-141. 1989. (Write to: Council of Agriculture, 37 Nanhai Rd., Taipei, Taiwan)

The economics of Integrated fish farm production In the Central Plain, 1985. Pinnoi, S. 1986. Thai Fish. Gaz. 39(4):359-369. (Publishers address: Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Dept. of Fisheries, Rajadamnem Avenue, Bangkok 10200, Thailand)

The effect of manure appilcatlon rate and frequency upon fish yield In Integrated fish farm ponds. Zhu Y.; Yang Y.; Wan J.; Hua D.; Mathias J.A. Aquacuiture; 91(3-4):233-251. 1990. (Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences, Freshwater Fisheries Research Center, Asian-Pacific Regional Research and Training Center for Integrated Fish Farming, Wuxi, China)

The effect of using piggery wastes In orackishwater fishpond on fish ';roductlon. Tamse, A.F.; Fortes, N.R.; Catedrilla, L.C.; Yuseco, J.E.H. 1985. Univ. Pfiilipp. Visayas Fish. J. 1(1):69-76. (University of the Philippines in the Visayas, Brackishwater Aquacuiture Center, Miag-ao, lloilo, Philippines)

The evolution of Integrated aquaculture systems. Ryther, J.H. J. World Maricuit. Soc. 14:473-484; 1983. (Cent. Mar. Biotechnol., Harbor Branch Inst., Fort Pierce, FL 33450, USA)

The ICLAR0hCLSU Integrated animal-fish farming project, poultry-fish and pig-fish trials. 1981. ICLARM Tech. Rep. (2):29p. (MC P.O. Box 1501, Makati, Metro Manila 1299, Philippines)

The Integration of aquaculture and agricultural production. Naegel, L. Anim. Res. Dev. 27:7-15; 1988. (Inst. Biol. Sciences, University of the Philippines at Los Bahos, Coll., Laguna, Philippines)

The mulberry dike-carp pond resource system of the ZhuJiang (Pearl River) Delta, People's Republic of China. l., Environmental context and system overview. Ruddle, K.; Furtado, J.l.; Zhong, G.F.; Deng, H.Z. 1983. Appl. Geogr. 3:45-62. (11-20 Matsugaoko-cho, Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo-ken 662, Japan)

The pond refuge In rice-fish systems. Dela Cruz, C.R. 1990. Aquabyte. 3(2):6-7. (ICLARM, MC P.O. Box 1501, Makati, Metro Manila 1299, Philippines)

56(1):63-78. (Write to: J.A.J. Verreth, Dept. of Fish Culture and Fisheries Agriculture University, P.O. Box 338, 6700 M, Wageningen, Netherlands)

Time to reappraise rice-fish culture. Pullin, R.S.V. 1985. ICLARM Newsl. 8(4):3-4. (ICLARM, MC P.O. Box 1501, Makati, Metro Manila 1299, Philippines)

Traditional Integrated farming systems and rural development, the example of rice field fisheries In Southeast Asia. Ruddle, K. 19B2. Agric. Admin. 10:1-11. (11-20 Matsugaoko-cho, Nishinomiya- shi; Hyogoken 662, Japan)

Use of manure In fish farming, a review. Wohifarth, G.W.; Schroeder, G.L. 1979. Agric. Wastes. 1(4):279299. (Agricultural Research Organization, Fish and Aquaculture Research Station, Dor, Hof Hacarmel, Israel)

Utilization of duck's droppings In fish farming. Plavnik, l.; Barash, H.; Schroeder, G. 1983. Nutr. Rep. Int. 28(3): 635-641. (Institute of Animal Science, ARO, The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel)

Waste loading, oxygen balance and production efficiency In the Integrated fish farming system. Banerjee, R.K. Bull. Cent. Inland Fish. Res. Inst., Barrackpore. (48):18.1-5. 1986. (Rahara Res. Cent., CIFRI, Rahara 743186, India)

Water quality In Integrated livestock-fish ponds. Hopkins, K.D.; Inocencio, P.; Cruz, E.M. 1983. J. World Maricult. Soc. 14:495- 504. (University of Hawaii at Hilo, HI 96720, USA)

Sociocultural considerations when introducing a new integrated agriculture - aquaculture technology

It is important to understand how farmers understand the world before trying to introduce new technological options. Try to discover whether or not the new system can fit in well with the farmer's concerns, beliefs and values. And remember, farmers are "scientists", too. They have been developing, testing and adopting their own technologies for centuries in ways that are tailored to their cultural setting. If you make the effort to learn from them about the fit between cultural outlook and technology first, you will have a much better idea of which new technologies they are likely to take an interest in.


1. Even science is "cultural" — It is a belief system that incorporates certain values and goals and promotes a particular view of the world.

Even science is "cultural “

Agricultural scientists and economists value precision in measurement and the replicability of results, as well as maximizing efficiency and profitability.

Farmers may be motivated by goals and values that are different from those of scientists and economists.

Farmers may value security of livelihood for themselves and their children in the short and long term; they might place a higher priority on preserving harmony in the community than on maximizing individual gain; or they may seek to acquire merit for the afterlife, by contributing fish to a temple rather than selling them for money.

2. Cultural rules often limit what particular members of a given society (e.g., women versus men) can do. Cultural factors may determine who usually makes decisions, who is allowed to work in the fields, who may go to town to market produce and who may travel to a research station to attend demonstrations. This may set limits on the flexibility of households and communities to adopt new technologies. For example:

Cultural rules often limit

Women may not be permitted to catch fish, but they may be the ones who sell them.

Considerations of gender, religious beliefs, caste or clan membership, all may limit the distribution of benefits to be derived from farming innovations.

3. Interactions between extension agents or institutions and farmers may be constrained by culture.

It may be unacceptable for male extension workers to speak freely with women. Or a young extension worker may feel uncomfortable giving instructions to a distinguished community elder.

4. Culture changes over time: Children often have different beliefs, attitudes and values than their parents. This can cause conflicts over resource use priorities. For example:

Children may aspire to enter non-farm occupations; or they may be less concerned with respecting religious taboos.

Children may aspire to enter non-farm occupations

5. Communities and consumption. Farming communities are often divided by factors such as religion, caste, economic class and political affiliation. A given technology may not be suitable for the whole community and may increase conflict within, it.

Communities and consumption


There is no reason to encourage people to raise fish if they will not eat the fish themselves and if they cannot find anyone who will buy the fish. The same is true for any livestock or vegetable product that may be part of an integrated farming technology. It is, therefore, essential to consider the local cultural and economic constraints on consumption before attempting to introduce such a new technology.

Cultural constraints on consumption may include:

1. Religious Bellefs

For example:

- Muslims will not eat pig meat; many will not consume shell fish, but this depends on local custom and preferences.

- Most Hindus will refuse cow-meat; some castes eat no meat, fish or livestock product of any kind. Again, this will vary from region to region.

- Some Buddhists will no. kill and consume domesticated animals (including farmed fish) even though they will eat wild fish.

2. Totemic Beliefs

- Especially in Africa, but also among tribal peoples in Asia, Melanesia and the Americas, some people are forbidden to eat the animal that stands for their clan group.

3. Beliefs about Gender Differences

- In some societies, men may be allowed to eat certain foods that are forbidden to women and vice versa. Often, men expect to be given the most nutritious and preferred foods first. These factors may reduce the nutritional benefits that women receive from fish or livestock product/on. On the other hand, sometimes women can demand these foods when they are pregnant or nursing.

4. Beliefs about Food Cleanliness and Health

- Sometimes people believe that certain foods are unclean or will make them sick. For example, many people refuse to eat fish raised on animal excrete for these reasons.

Here is a checklist to help you think about how cultural beliefs might affect the adoption of the new technology you want to introduce. What other technology might be more culturally appropriate?

Consumption checklist

Will be available and acceptable to:






Pig Meat

Cow Meat

Poultry Meat

Eggs/ Filk









Local Markets

Distant Markets

This checklist is just to help you decide whether or not a new technology will generate products that are going to be available and acceptable to all members of the producing households as well as to buyers in the market. You must still, however, make a separate assessment of the long-term level of demand and prices in the markets that he produces might be selling to, (and purchasing inputs from), before deciding whether or not a given technology will be viable. See the paper on Economics Considerations In Introducing Integrated Agriculture-Aquaculture Technology.


In most farming communities, women and men do different kinds of tasks on and off the farm and in the house. A new integrated farming system technology will usually require changes in the way that members of the farming household use their time. Some might have a greater burden of work (e.g., feeding fish or livestock, repairing dikes, selling fish) and need to reduce the time they spend on other activities. But this is not always true. Sometimes, new tasks can be easily combined with present activities (e.g., digging a trench can supply fertilizer for horticultural crops on an embankment) or children and elders can perform new tasks that are not physically demanding but costly in terms of time (e.g. feeding fish in a distant pond).


The following checklist will help you to think about these problems and whether or not they can be easily solved by the farming household. But remember, households differ. Some have lots of young children who require supervision. Sometimes, an elderly widow will be living alone and doing most things by herself because her children have gone to find jobs in town. How can an integrated system help someone like her to increase her food and income without demanding more labor time? Are there neighbors, relatives or a women's group with whom she can cooperate and get help?

For each task on the checklist, make a mark under "Present" if the category of family member (children, adult women, adult men, elders) contributes substantial labor under the existing system. Then make a mark under "Future" if they will need to contribute once the newly integrated system is adopted.


adult women

adult men










Field Labor

- Field

- Preparation

- Pesticide &


- Weeding

- Harvesting



- Grain

- Livestock

- Fish



- Feeding

- Milking,



- Eggs

- Pen Maintenance

- Herding


- Cooking/Cleaning

- Building/Maintenance

Child Care

Tool Making/Repair

Marketing Produce/

Buying Inputs

Working for Wages

Other (Trading,

Crafts, etc.)


Before introducing a new integrated agriculture-aquaculture technology, it is important to consider who will make the management decisions that are crucial for its success. For example, elders might have ultimate authority in the household concerning when to sell crops or livestock, but make few day-to-day management decisions concerning stocking rates, feeding and fertilizing.

Women often manage family finances as well as making day-lo-day decisions concerning food purchases and preparation. Because women are usually responsible for ensuring adequate nutrition for themselves and their children, they are often more motivated than men to adopt new technologies that provide nutritional benefits, such as fish culture. Also, women will be eager to invest their time in improving the productivity of a resource over which they have control of both management and the harvested product (for example, a backyard pond).

Distribution of resources

When we speak of "distribution", we mean the ways in which the resources needed for an integrated farming technology are made available to farmers. Some resources will be available on the term and cost nothing (if the farm household owns them). These resources may have to be diverted from other Uses, however, and this constitutes a hidden cost. Other resources will have to be borrowed, leased or purchased.

Before attempting to implement any of the technologies in this Kit, you should try to answer the following questions together with the farmers you are working with. (You can do this as part of the drawing exercise discussed in the selection on Working with New Entrants to Integrated Aquaculture-Agriculture.

1. What resources are easily available on most farms in the area? (A new system should not depend upon resources that are scarce, difficult or expensive to obtain.)

2. Which of these resources is being under utilized/not utilized? (A new system should focus on bringing these into the system).

3. Which of these resources is being over utilized/not being utilized in a sustainable fashion? (A new system should strive toward restoring sustainability.)

4. Which of these resources is a common property resource? (A common property resource is a resource that is jointly drawn upon and managed by a community or a part of a community, e.g., grazing lands, ponds, irrigation water, forest products. A new system should enhance the benefits all users receive from such resources).

5. Which of these resources are controlled by only a small percentage of farmers or by non-fammers? (Farmers will be reluctant to invest in a system that requires resources that are not under their ownership or control, such as land that might be sold or an irrigation water supply that might be cut off someday.

On-farm resource availability and utilization checklist


Under utilized

Must be Diverted

Common Property


Over utilized Distributed

a. LAND (Proper soil slop, drainage)

b. WATER SOURCE (Reliable, sufficient quality)



e. HOUSEHOLD WASTES(Ash, Sewage, Food wastes)






k. LABOUR (Knowledge/skills, numbers, strength, timely availability)


It is useful to remember that most farmers in the world have little margin for taking risks. Sometimes, building a store of value to provide insurance against catastrophes (such as drought, flood, political upheaval, market instability, social and legal obligations) may be perceived by the farmer to be more desirable than investing for maximum returns.

Farmers view their ties with friends, neighbors and kinfolk as insurance against risk as well, since they will rely on these people for help if disaster strikes. This is why farmers invest in social relationships—by sharing resources (such as money, tools and labor), by paying visits, attending community celebrations and religious ceremonies and by exchanging gifts. It a farmer harvests fish or poultry before they are mature, it may be because he or she must meet a social obligation that can't be put off until later. Farmers should not be expected to make decisions in accordance with fixed models. Rather, the models for integrated technologies should be flexible enough to accommodate farmers' varying needs and their perceptions of acceptable risk.

Most farm households will be familiar with the benefits that may be derived from integration in terms of reducing risk. Most likely, they already combine diverse enterprises (e.g., livestock, crops, wage labor, gardening) in order to protect themselves from the possible failure of any single endeavour. The integration of agricultural enterprises with fish culture can increase household security by providing additional sources of income, by improving cash-flows over time and by improving the long-term sustainability of the household and community resource base. Also, when nutrition is improved through integration, people become less vulnerable to illness.


The farming households in any community are likely to have unequal access to resources and unequal control over their use. Often, extension agents focus on "leading farmers" or "progressive farmers" — those with the greatest access to resources on the farm or with sufficient income to purchase these resources off the farm. Extension agents do this because it is easier to show a complete, complex system on a single farm or because these farmers often have more education and are more likely to "think like" the extension agent. These farms are often used to "demonstrate" the gains to be achieved from an integrated system. However, there are good reasons not to focus on resource-rich farmers. in technology extension efforts.

Inequality between households

· Resource-poor farmers will usually be discouraged from adopting a new technology they are shown on a wealthier farmer's farm. (They will think, "how can I possibly do it without land and cash?).

· Resource-rich farmers often control the distribution of inputs to poor farmers. Helping the rich farmers to expand may reduce access to resources by poor farmers, making it yet more difficult for them to adopt a new system that may improve their livelihood.

· When resource-poor farmers lose access to the means of survival, they are pressured to use the most fragile parts of the local ecosystem in order to gain a livelihood, often leading to environmental degradation. New technologies should be focused on solving this predicament; they should enable farming communities to manage environmental resources in a sustainable fashion by improving the security of livelihood for the community's poorest members.

· Remember, farmers continue to live in communities after outside advisers leave. This is why it is a good idea to use extension agents who have intimate knowledge of the community they serve and why it is good to involve the whole community in choosing new and locally appropriate systems. If one farmer shows a rapid increase in visible wealth after adopting a new technology, others may be envious and isolate them from the community or sabotage their investments.

Integration can reduce inequality in communities if the primary beneficiaries are the resource-poor community members.

· By making the resources they have access to more productive, poor farmers become less dependent on loans or favors from wealthy farmers.

· Involving resource-poor farmers in designing new integrated technologies may be a way of strengthening their control over their own lives and giving them better organizational capacity and power in the community.

Prepared by: ERIC WORBY


Economic considerations in introducing integrated agriculture-aquaculture technologies

The importance of economic analysis


FIRST, make a costs sheet.

· List the things that are required for you to use the technology.
· Write down how much is needed, its price and the amount paid.
· Add all amounts paid to find out the total costs.

Costs sheet

SECOND, make an income sheet.

· List all the products from the technology that were sold.
· Write down how much is sold, at what price and the amount received.
· Add all amounts received to find out the total income.

Income sheet

THIRD, work your Affiance or profit sheet.

· Write down the total income received from the technology.

· Write down the total costs that were required in doing the technology.

· Subtract the total amount paid for you to use the technology from the total amount received from the sales of the technology.



Cash Outflow

· Work out your cash outflows.. Note down the activities of the technology that required money and write these on the lower pare of the calendar. Also, write down the costs involved.

· Under January, the first month of the technology, record plowing and harrowing where hired laborers were paid P320 for four days. Record also the purchase of rice seeds which cost P620.

· For the second month of the technology, record transplanting activities which required P160 as wages for hired laborers. Also, record the purchases and money paid for fingerlings, rice bran and Inorganic fertilizer.

· Repeat recording on the calendar the activities of the technology that I money and the amount paid for the

Cash Inflow

· Work out your cash inflows. Note down the products sold and the money received from these sales and write these on the upper pan of the calendar.

· In April, the fourth month of the technology, 25 knot fish were sold for P875.

· In May, 3,000 kg of rice were sold for P12,000 and 100 kg of fish for P3,500.

· Smaller size fish were kept in the pond for further grout. A total fish harvest was done in June and 25 kg of fish were sold getting P875 in receipts.


Cash Netflow

· The previous illustration of activities of the technology and the cash flows can be summarized by: 1) adding all money required to do the technology in particular month to get the total monthly cash outflow; and, 2) adding all the money received from the sales of the product of the technology in a particular month to get the total monthly cash inflow.

· Draw another calendar showing each month included in the previous calendar.
· Pat the total cash outflow by month on the lower part of the calendar.
· Pat the total cash inflow by month on the upper part of the calendar.
· The cash netflow is computed by subtracting the cash outflow from the cash inflow.

· A negative cash netflow, particularly the case in the first few months of the technology, means that the farmer spends money to buy and pay for things that are required by the technology. If he starts getting cash inflows, a negative cash netflow implies that more cash is required to pay for the technology than what is received from the sales of his products.

Cash netflow

· A positive cash netflow implies that the farmer receives money from the sales of the products of the technology. When there are cash inflows and cash outflows in a particular month, a positive cash netflow means that the farmer receives more cash from the sales of his farm products which are able to pay for the tame expenses at that particular month.


· The farmer may have several alternatives in using his resources such as labor, land or cash capital as shown in the following diagrams.

· Before adopting a new technology (for example, rice-fish farming), the farmer would like to know whether using his resources for rice-fish farming would give him better income than investing these in other alternative income-generating activities.

· When the farmer has alternative uses for his resources, he should choose the activities that will generate more income from using his resources.

Farmers labor resource

Farmers land resource

Farmers cash capital resource


· The opportunity cost of a resource (for example, labor, land or cash capital) is the value of the best alternative use of that particular resource. A new technology is worth adopting if the income earned from the use of the farmer's resources are greater than the opportunity costs (or what could have been earned) in other activities.

Additional labor hours spent by the farmer's wife and children for rice fish farming

Farmers wife spends more time in the farm: feeding the fish with rice bran and cleaning the dikes instead of cooking at home for the family. Children also help in the farm chores, thus spends less time studying school lessons.


· Is the produce from the technology meant for household and local consumptions or for export?

· How diversified will the farm operations become when the new component technology is adopted? Will it increase/reduce risks in crop failure?

· Will the products of new technology be subjected to high degree of price uncertainty because of unstable market? How sensitive is the net return to changes in input costs and output vices?


· Is it going to place significant demand for labor time from family members? Who will meet such labor demand? What is the opportunity cost of additional labor hours in terms of leisure, children's schooling, household work by female labor force, etc.?


Heavy insect/disease damage to the rice crop will result to poor yields. Income from rice may not even be enough to recover farm expenses. However, as the fishes are kept safe in the pond refuge, sales from fish relieve this situation.

Heavy insect/disease damage to the rice crop



Working with new entrants to integrated agriculture -aquaculture

Developing integrated aquaculture-agriculture systems for small holder farmers requires their participation. Farmer involvement is crucial because farmers are the ultimate designers and managers of farming systems.

Often, small holder farms are highly complex mixtures of crops, trees and livestock which vary seasonally, using a range of resources and cultivated ecosystems.

With such a diverse and difficult set of conditions, field extension workers are often confused as to where and how to start.

One possibility is to utilize a very simple farmer-to-farmer technique that enables farmers to draw models of their farms with the help of other farmers and extensionists. The importance of this exercise is that farmers learn by doing.

The objective of farmers' drawings is to use this medium as a means for farmers to visualize their farm system so that they are better able to see new possibilities for integrating farm enterprises. These could be integrating new enterprises into the farm system or creating new linkages between existing ones.

Hopefully, there can be follow-up drawings with farmers to see how their farm systems evolve as they adopt new integrations.


The most appropriate setting for this exercise is in the farmer's own environment on the smaliholding or in the village. Usually, it is better to start with groups rather than individual farmers.

Not only do groups allow more people to participate but also provide better dynamics than individual interactions when trying to make new entrants aware of different types of farm integration.

Group composition is also important. Mixed groups which include women, men and children often work very well. However, the facilitator needs to ensure that individual interests do not dominate the gathering. In this context, it may be useful to have follow up visits with single gender groups to see if viewpoints differ. You may choose to target groups of farmers who are likely to benefit from certain forms of integration. Rice farmers would be a suitable group for discussing rice-fish integration, for example:

· Cordially greet your farmer group and introduce yourself to everyone in the manner appropriate for the cultural setting.

· Explain that you have come to learn and understand how the farmers traditionally manage their farms

Cordially and explain your farmer group

· Suggest that they take you for a walk around the village or farm so that you can better understand their agricultural setting. Walking around and chatting in a relaxed atmosphere allows farmers time to relate their experiences. Thus, social distance and communication barriers are reduced. Do not take notes during this walk, just listen.

Suggest that they take you for a walk around the village

· Once the walk is over, continue the discussion. At an appropriate time, explain that with so much information, you find it difficult to visualize the whole farm system. Suggest to them that it would be easier for you to understand their farms if they could be represented in a drawing.

· If the farmers are agreeable to this idea, then explain carefully how to proceed with a drawing. Describe how actual plant or animal material can be placed on the ground to symbolize individual enterprises.

Explain carefully how to proceed with a drawing

· Once farmers grasp this idea, then introduce the idea of linkages between enterprises with arrows. These arrows can be scratched out on the ground with a stick or marked with ash from fires. By doing this exercise for themselves, farmers learn more quickly the possibilities for integration on their farms.

Introduce the idea of linkages

· Farmers should be allowed to interact among themselves so they can exchange ideas and produce a picture through joint effort. This group effort enables farmers to quickly learn from each other a range of ways of integrating farm enterprises.

Individual enterprises

Farmers should be allowed to interact

If several farmers draw their farm systems together—drawing becomes a valuable tool for exchange of ideas between peers.

Interchange of ideas facilitates generation of new ideas among farmers.

· The final drawing should show the full range of enterprises on the farm and linkages between them.

This conveys farm integration more effectively than either written or spoken word.

A picture of the farm system helps farmers appreciate their own farm as an integrated unit of interlinked enterprises

· Finally, the farmers should be encouraged to consider how new linkages, inputs (on-farm and off-farm) and enterprises might be included on the drawing.

Once a picture is drawn, it is easier for farmer/researcher/extensionist to see the possibility of making new links.

If a new enterprise is being introduced, it can be added to the drawing—so the picture becomes the medium through which to discuss possible effects on farm operations.

Drawings of individual farms enables the extensionist to see how integration varies from farm to farm.

· Drawing on a regular basis enables extensionists and farmers to follow through in a stepwise fashion the evolution of integration.

If farmers expand their drawing to include the whole village area, then common property resources can also be identified which have potential for linking to farm enterprises such as aquaculture, livestock, etc.


Incorporation of new enterprises, such as forestry and aquaculture, requires careful integration into traditional farming systems so that food security and income are not disrupted.

By drawing farm systems, farmers are better able to understand how new enterprises can be slotted in and enhance production of current enterprises with minimum disruption.

Farmers can also evolve new integrations and management systems for themselves when they visualize their whole farm in a drawing.

Farm diagrams

Farm diagrams can also provide information on labour allocation with regard to gender. In the diagram above, simple symbols (women, men) indicate whether men or women or both are moving resources around.


· Do not arrive on the farm at a bad time. One should check that farmers can receive you at the times you propose. This is particularly important where one wants to include mixed gender groups where women have different daily routines to men.

· Do not arrive on the farm with a large number of colleagues. This not only intimidates the farmers but also denies you the value of arranging your interview so that you empower women and other -disadvantaged groups to speak out. More knowledge and experience are gained where a few interview many.

· Do not arrive on the farm in city clothes and giving orders. This only serves to increase the distance between you and the farmers. Your attire and attitude are powerful signals to rural folk; what they say is largely determined by how close you can get to them.

· Do not rush the interview. This usually results in you reconfirming what you already know because the unhurried exploration for new insights and cross-checking has not been possible. Relax, listen more than you talk and show respect of their knowledge by following up on leads offered by the farmers.

· Do not force your agenda. Our overriding concern to get the output needed and conclude the interview quickly reduces the quality of our data and our relationship with the household. Rather, we should let the information emerge naturally. Forcing farmers to draw diagrams not only results in you drawing the diagram for them, but also in the farmers finding little value in them. This makes it difficult for you to return. If farmers learn from the interview, they will invite you back.

· Do not continue on with a bad interview. When, for any number of reasons, you find yourself interviewing farmers who are distracted by other matters, as happens to us all, recognize the fact and tactfully withdraw. It is better for you and others that follow you to have good relationships with the community rather than good data on the community.

· Do not appear with paper and pens and instruct them to draw a picture of their farms. This will not work. The picture must emerge naturally as a way for the farmers to express all that is happening on their farms.

· Explain to the farmers that they are the teachers in this exercise and you, the extension worker, are the pupil. This shows respect for the farmer's knowledge and provides a more equitable working relationship between the visitor and farmer.

· It is important to encourage farmers to use their own methods and materials to represent farm enterprises. The visitor should avoid doing any drawing; otherwise, the farmers might be intimidated and withdrawn.



Integrated agriculture-aquaculture and the environment


Food production invariably has environmental effects: occupation and fragmentation of former natural habitats; reduction of the abundance of diversity of wildlife; and, changes in soil water and landscape quality. Most integrated agriculture-aquaculture systems use low levels of inputs and fall within the type of aquaculture called semi-intensive. This means less reliance on heavy feed and fertilized inputs, lower densities of farmed organisms and, therefore, less chances of causing serious pollution and disease risks than more intensive, feedlot-type systems. This is important as it is the high output of the foodstuffs necessary for intensive feedlot systems that create environmental pollution. Semi-intensive systems in synergy with agriculture (crop-livestock-fish integrated farming) capitalize on in situ, vitamin and protein rich natural aquatic feeds, which obviate the need for expensive feed components.

Semi-intensive freshwater ponds usually have few environmental effects other than their occupation of former natural habitats. In the tropics, where there is fast turnover of organic waste loading, their effluents and excavated muds usually enhance the productivity of adjacent waters and lands and avoid over enrichment.

Special care is needed, however, where pond and dike construction may disturb acid sulfate subsoils and where water table changes may uplift subsurface salts. Moreover, saltwater intrusion from coastal ponds may poison soils and freshwater aquifers. The use of chemicals in semi-intensive aquaculture is usually limited, but farmers should always take great care when using antibiotics, hormones and other drugs and should follow the instructions very closely. Seek professional advice from veterinarians or fish culture specialist and be aware that many drugs are persistent in the environment.


The aquatic medium is shared by many users and supports diverse fauna and flora. As aquaculturists develop better domesticated breeds, international demand for these will increase. This means increased transfers of exotic breeds, as has been of immense benefit for crop and livestock farming. However, cultured aquatic organisms often escape and form feral populations which may: (1) displace or interbreed with wild stocks, thereby threatening natural genetic resources; (2) disrupt natural habitats by causing proliferation or clearance of vegetation or increasing turbidity (benthic foraging); and, (3) introduce aquatic pathogens, predators and bests inadvertently.

Development agencies and farmers must weigh the benefits of using exotic breeds against possible environmental consequences. Development projects and farmers often try exotic breeds without thorough appraisal of the possible consequences. Such irresponsible experiments may have far-reaching consequences; loss or damage to habitats and genetic resources of wide importance. This damage may last forever. Codas of practice to avoid this have recently been developed, but aquaculture development still lags behind agriculture in recognition of the risks of transfers and international application of these safeguards.

The only general guidelines here are: (1) use native species and breeds developed by local or national programs wherever possible; and, (2) if the introduction of other species or breeds need to be considered, seek professional advice on how to assess the possible consequences and comply with the laws and Codes of Practice that have been developed for the good of all present and future farmers.


Integrated agriculture-aquaculture generally has no special health risks significantly greater than agriculture, but freshwater ponds may assist the spread of waterborne diseases. They can harbor the intermediate hosts of parasitic worms, such as bilharzia, and can be breeding sites for mosquitoes. Such problems are minimized by maintaining weed-free, well-stocked ponds. In fact, many species of fish eat and control mosquito larvaes but snail control by fish is not usually possible.

Fish farm workers who enter ponds may risk bilharzia infection in infected areas and other waterborne microbial diseases (viral, leptospiral, bacterial and fungal).

On the positive side, many of the pathogens and parasites that contaminate fish produce from livestock excrete-fed ponds are eliminated by a well-fertilized pond environment, as in sewage oxidation ponds. Problems of pesticide accumulation in ricefield fish are diminishing because of the increased use of integrated pest management programs employing natural substances and predators.

The risk of accumulation of heavy metals from livestock feeds in manured pond sediments and fish is slight and applies more to intensive systems. The same probably applies to pathways for aflatoxins (poisons that develop from fungi in badly stored feeds) but this has been little studied.

Sewage-fish culture is controversial because of assumed health risks to farm workers and fish consumers. However, these may be slight compared to the nutritional benefits provided that postharvest handling of the fish is hygienic (with particular attention to not rupturing the gut and allowing its contents to make contact with fish flesh). Such produce must also be well-cooked.

There are no general guidelines on how to minimize these risks other than to be aware of which waterborne diseases are present in any given locality and to assess whether the establishment and operation of ponds significantly adds to the risks of contraction by farm workers, fish handlers and consumers.

Seek professional advice from public health workers.

Prepared by: ROGER PULLIN


Integrated grass-fish farming systems in China


Integrated fish farming refers to the production, integrated management and comprehensive use of aquaculture, agriculture and livestock with an emphasis on aquaculture. China has a long and rich history of integrated fish farming. Written records from the first and second centuries B.C. document the integration of aquatic plant cultivation and fish farming.

From the ninth century, records showed fish farming in the paddy field. From the 14th to 16th centuries, there were records of rotation of fish and grass culture; and by the 1620s, mulberry-dike fish pond, the integration of fish and livestock farming and complex systems of multiple enterprises integrated with fish farming were developed.

Integrated fish systems using grass and aquatic plants as fish feeds are commonly found in many parts of China. These systems are particularly predominant in the irrigated lowland areas of the Changjiang, Pearl and Yangtze river basins. Many of these farms are large, communal farms which are commonly found throughout China. Farmers in these areas commonly grow graminea species in various areas of their farms, including fields, small plots of unused land, pond dikes and drained ponds. The grass is then fed directly to the fish as a supplemental feed. In southern China, farmers also use available water resources, such as rivers, lakes, ditches and pools, to cultivate aquatic plants for their use as fish feeds.

Three integrated systems from China involving grass and/or water hyacinth are presented here: grassfish. water hyacinth fish and pig-grass-fish


Grass species which can easily be produced on the farm can serve as low-cost supplemental feeds for feeding fish. Commonly cultured fish species which can feed on grass include grass, silver, big head and common carps. As seen in Figure 1, grass can be grown along pond boundaries and fed directly to fish. Grass species commonly used include Rye grass, Sudan grass and Napier grass. (See Table 1.) Figure 2 outlines a seasonal calendar for grass production within a grass-fish system.

Bid-resource flows for grass-fish system.

Fish and grass/water hyacinth production seasonal calendar.

Summary of important aquatic and terrestrial species used for grass-fish integration.


Parts Used

Yield. (Fresh Wt in T/ha)

Feed Conversion Factor (Fresh)*

Rye grass
Lollum mulilflorum

Leaf & stem

75- 150


Sudan grass
Sorghum vulgare var Sudanese

Leaf & stem



Elephant grass(Napier)
Penisetum purpureum

Leaf & stem



Hybrid Napier grass
Penisetum americanum

Leaf & stem



Water hyacinth
Eichhornla crassipes

Leaf & stem



* Amount of fresh grass required to produce one kg of fish.

Monthly fish-feed requirement and average daily production of rye grass and sudan grass.

Pond sizes range from about one-half to one ha in size with water depths ranging from two to two-and a half meters. Net fish yields of up to 6T/ha have been recorded without supplemental feeding or the use of additional green or animal manures. An area roughly one-half the size of the pond is needed to produce sufficient grass for supplemental feeding. Figure 3 shows that on-farm produced rye grass and Sudan grass can be sufficient to meet fish production feed requirements. Rye grass and Sudan grass can yield up to 112 T/ha (fresh wt.) and Hybrid Napier can yield up to 300 T/ha (fresh wt.).

Stocking/harvest design for grass-fish system.







Survival (%)


Gross Yield

Net yield

Grass carp








Silver carp








Bighead carp








Common carp











The use of cereal grains as feed supplements in fish production can be costly; thus, supplemental feeding using grass species is much more economical. Production costs related to supplemental feeds are 50% lower (per kg of fish produced) for grass-fed vs. cereal grain (barley)-fed fish.


A variety of aquatic plants can be used as supplemental feeds in fish production; however, water hyacinth is the best. An area approximately one-half the size of the fish pond is needed to produce enough water hyacinth for supplemental feeding. Water hyacinth can produce up to 300 T/ha (fresh wt.). Net fish yields can also reach 600 T/ha without supplemental feeding or the use of additional manures. Pond sizes and stocking rates are the same as the grass-fish system. Fish input costs using water hyacinth comprise less than 15% when compared to cereal grain (barley)-fed fish.

Bid-resource flows for aquatic plants-fish system.


Pig-grass-fish integration is widely practiced and has good economic returns. Pig excrete are applied directly to the fish ponds; but most are used as fertilizer for high-yielding fodder grasses, which in turn are used as the main feed for herbivorous fish. The excrete of herbivorous fish fertilize the pond water to support the growth of fish. The pond humus can then be used as manure for plant cultivation. Thus, the productivity of both fodder grasses and phytoplankton can be utilized.

Pig-fish and grass-fish components can be integrated to optimize the resource flows for an increased productivity. Forty-five to sixty pigs can support 1 ha of grass production (225 - 300 T Rye grass and Sudan grass) for a 2-ha pond (6000 kg/ha of fish yield).

Bid-resource flows of pig-grass-fish system.

Fertilization calendar.

Comparative production/economic data of pig-grass-fish system to pig-fish system (from 100 kg. of pig manure: 1/2 feces/1/2 urine).

Type of Fish

Fish Production in Pig -Grass -Fish system

Fish Production in Pig-Fish System



Filtering and Omnivore






% increase in yield = 133%
% increase income = 23a%

Prepared by:


Chinese embankment fish culture

Embankment fish culture, along with bamboo and mulberry culture, is being practiced in the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta areas of central and south China for centuries. Originally, the delta was just a waterlogged area. Farmers dug and moved soil, piling them into huge rectangular or round shapes and utilized them for planting crops. The excavated areas became deeper, making them ideal for fish culture. The embankments are wide enough where mulberry, bamboo, etc., can be grown (see Figures 1& 2). The mud is scraped from the bottom of the pond and applied as fertilizer to the embankment 2-5 times annually at a rate of 750-1,125 t/ha.

A view of embankment fish culture turk system

Farm transect of embankment model.

MULBERRY PLOT-FISH POND. In this system, the mulberry leaves are used as feed for silkworms. The sericulture provides a large variety of feeds and fertilizers for fish farming.

It has been determined that 36,700 kg/ha of mulberry leaves can be produced which can yield 2,700 kg of cocoons and 18,400-18,750 kg of silkworm excrete and silkworm sloughs (molted skins). The silkworm excrete can both serve as feed and fertilizer for fish. The cocoons contain 80% pupae by weight. The feed conversion ratio of pupae to fish is 2:1 such that 2 kg of pupae can produce 1 kg of fish. All the feeds and manure from silkworm farming can support a good fish yield; the cycling process of the silkworm wastes is illustrated in Figure 3. The suggested stocking in "mulberry plot-fish pond" is listed in table 1.

The cycling process of silkworm wastes

Conversion/product/on ratio of ma materials.

Stocking for mulberry plot-fish pond.






Total Stocking (pcs)



Number of fish

Body Wt. Increment

Net Yield

Silver carp


















Grass carp









Common carp









Crucian carp














BAMBOO PLOT-FISH POND. The produce from bamboo farming is mainly bamboo shoots. Zhangchai Township, Fusan, Guangdong province has long been processing canned bamboo shoots. It is estimated that 25-30% of the wastes and by-products could be used for fish farming. Wastes and by-products from a 1 ha harvest of bamboo shoots can produce about 500 kg of fish.

A modest estimate from the farmers of Zhangchai Township shows that bamboo production per hectare ranges between 22,500 - 26,250 annually. But when shoot production is over, the farmers harvest the old bamboo poles, totalling 52,500-67,500 kg/ha. These can be used as firewood, construction materials for livestock pens or support materials for climbing plants

Material flow in bamboo plot - fish ponds

The mud from the bottom of the pond provides a tremendous amount of compound fertilizer for the bamboo plot. In shoot production, 6,000 kg/ha of pond mud, 168 kg N. 109 kg P and 150 kg K are needed, but one fourth from the pond mud is more than sufficient to supply the needed nutrients. So, the mud nutrition cannot be fully absorbed by the plants. The farmers in Zhangchai Township realize that the shoot production is 20-30% higher in the pond plot than in hilly areas, probably because of good ventilation in between plants and adequate water and fertilizer supply. Mud application moreover impedes the growth of wild plants and improves the soil quality. "Bamboo plot-fish pond" stocking rates is illustrated in Figure 5. Table 2 shows the farming calendar in fish-sericulture-bamboo production.

Suggested stocking

Farming calendar



The V.A.C. system in northern Vietnam

The Vietnamese saying Nhat canh tri, cans vien says that the first profitable activity is aquaculture and the second is agriculture, horticulture or gardening. Integrated farming is a traditional approach to family food production in the poor, rural regions of Vietnam. The integration of the home lot, garden, livestock and fish pond is called the VAC system (VAC in Vietnamese is Vuon, ao, chuong which means garden/pond/livestock pen).

The widespread promotion of the VAC system, referred to as the VAC movement, began in the early 1980s after importance of small-scale integration was emphasized by the late President Ho Chi Minh in the late 1960s. The objective of the movement was to increase and stabilize the nutritional standard of the rural poor. Because of adoption of the VAC system, the dietary balance of the rural poor is significantly improved by the addition of dietary protein, particularly in the isolated villages located in the high mountainous regions.

This farming system is a family-managed, with practically all of the labor coming from the household. VAC farms can be found in a variety of agro-ecological conditions, including irrigated lowlands, rain-fed uplands and pert-urban areas.

It is estimated that 85-90% of the rural families maintain a garden and livestock pen, with 30-35% of these families having fish ponds. In many villages, 50-80% of families have the full VAC system. Figures show that 30-60% of family income of most of the village families may come from the system; in many cases, the full family income may be derived from the VAC system.

Seasonal calendar of agriculture/aquaculture activities in the uplands and lowlands.


The house is constructed close to the pond so that the domestic and kitchen wastes are drained into the fishpond. The livestock pens and garden are also situated near the pond. The 1,000 - 1,500 sq m garden includes a variety of vegetables, (i.e., green onion, sweet potato, water cress, etc.) and fruits (i.e., banana, orange, peach, apricot, etc.) and other crops' including sugar cane, tea and cassava. This provides a mix of perennial and annual crops.

A portion of the livestock manure is used for manuring the trees and vegetables. Trees are manured once or twice a year; vegetables manured according to the needs of the crop. Pond silt is removed every 34 years and used as a fertilizer.

Integrated farming system (upland)

Most families keep a variety of animals on the farm, including one or more water buffaloes and cattle, one or more pigs and several ducks and chickens. The large ruminant animals are allowed to graze or are fed farm by-products. The swine and poultry are usually fed with kitchen wastes, as well as other farm products and by-products such as cassava, rice bran, sweet potato, banana trunks and water hyacinth.

The fish pond is usually allocated a more central part of the farm for better management. Pond area ranges from 100 - 1500 sq m, with a pond depth of about 1 m. Ponds are often drained after the final harvest, usually in February. The pond bottom is kept dry for 1 - 3 weeks; after which it is cleaned, limed, manured and then tilled up with water for re-stocking. Domestic washings and kitchen wastes are channeled into the pond daily. Animal manure is also applied twice a month at the rate of 0.05- 0.15 kg/sq m. Three months after stocking, farmers begin to harvest on a weekly basis using small nets and continuously re-stock and harvest the pond.


In the lowland areas of North Vietnam, the integration of the garden, livestock and fish culture is also common. Usually, houses are constructed close to the pond. In sandy regions the houses are often built at some distance from the pond for hygienic reasons.

The garden is usually small, between 400 - 500 sq m. Fruit crops commonly grown include banana, orange, papaya, peach litchi, longan and apple. In many suburban family gardens, ornamental trees and flowers are planted as a main income source. Vegetables grown include green onion, sweet potato, cress, tomato, cabbage and water spinach.´ Both perennial and annual crops are planted to provide year round food to the house and products for the market.

Pond mud is annually removed and used to manure the fruit trees and livestock manure is used to fertilize the vegetables. Pond water is used for irrigating the garden, especially the vegetables.

Integrated farming system (lowland)

Most families keep a variety of animals on the farm, including one or more water buffaloes and cattle, one or more pigs and several ducks and chickens. The large ruminant animals are allowed to graze or fed farm by-products. The livestock pens for pigs, buffaloes and cows are constructed at the corner of the garden close to the pond. The swine and poultry are usually fed kitchen wastes, as well as other farm products and by-products such as cassava, rice bran, sweet potato, banana trunks and water hyacinth.

Most families have ponds of 50 - 400 sq m, with different shapes and an average depth of 1.0-1.2 m. Ponds are drained after the final harvest (usually in January/February). The pond is then kept dry for a few days, limed, manured and re-filled with rain water or irrigation water. (Early rains may start at the end of March.) Domestic washings and kitchen wastes may be channeled into the pond with a small part of the manure coming from the livestock used to manure the pond (according to the farmer's experience). Green vegetable leaves of legumes such as peanuts, green bean leaves, etc., are also used for manuring the ponds.

Summary of the basic features of the integrated system in Northern Vietnam.





1. Area

1,000 - 15,000 m²

200 - 300 m²

2. Cultivation practices

Perennials + seasonal planting of annual in March

Perennials + seasonal

- Fruit trees

Seasonal cultivation

Seasonal cultivation

- Vegetable

3. Manuring

- Fruit trees

Pond mud

Pond mud

- Vegetables

Livestock manure + Human wastes

Livestock manure + Human wastes

4. Number and Type of livestock

- Bufallo



- Cow



- Pig



- Chicken and duck



5. Feed Resources

- Buffalo and Cow

grass, rice straw

grass, rice straw

- Pig, Chicken, Ducks

rice bran, cassava, kitchen wastes, sweet potato, banana, water, hyacinth

rice bran, cassava

Fish Pond


100-1,500 m2


2.Average depth

1.0 m

1.0 - 1.2 m

3.Stocking ratio

Silver carp: 20-25%

Silver carp: 25-35%

Grass carp: 5-10%

Grass carp: 2- 5%

Common carp: 5-10%

Hybrid Common carp: 10- 15%

Rohu: 20-30%

Rohu: 20-30%

Mrigal: 20-30%

Mrigal: 15-25%

4.Stocking density

0.5-2.0 fingerlings/m

1.0-2.0 fingerlings/m²

(3-6 cm)

(5-6 cm)

5. Manuring

kitchen wastes livestock manure

Kitchen wastes

(0.05 kg/m, twice per month)

Livestock manure

green manure

6. Harvesting

Continuous harvest, after 3 months of culture

Continuous harvest

7. Estimated production

0.80-1.0 T/ha/year

1.0-1.4 T/ha/year



Fodder-fish integration practice in Malaysia

In Malaysia, integrated farming systems have been practiced since the 1 1930s with the production of fish in paddy fields and pig-fish in ponds. Although research shows that these systems are technically feasible and economically viable, socioeconomic factors such as consumer preference, adoption by farmers, etc., need to be considered. Fodder-fish integration is one widely accepted system.

In the Third Malaysian Plan, fish culture is being promoted in a larger scope. Subsidies are given by the government for pond construction. Fish seed supply is provided as well as training and extension. This system benefits family consumption. It provides enough supply of protein needed by each family member. Moreover, it can be source of additional income.

Farm layout

Farm transect

Calendar of activities of fodder-fish integration option 1

Calendar of activities of fodder-fish integration option 2

The fodder-fish integration utilizes the most commonly used fodder species as fish feeds. These are: napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum), cassava (Manihot esculanta) and ipil-ipil (Leucaena leucocephala). These are proven to have high-diet value, high palatability and good digestibility.

Farm system


1. Weed the land.

2. Plant fodder crops.

· Napier grass and cassava are propagated by vegetative means using mature stems. Napier grass cuttings should have 3-5 nodes, 3/4 of which is buried (at about 45° angle). Cassava planting material is 25-30 cm.

· Ipil-ipil can be direct seeded or transplanted. Direct seeding is done when annual rainfall is 1200 mm. Seedlings are best transplanted (at 2 cm depth) at the start of the rainy season.

3. Management Care

· If possible, put a fence around the area.

· Do not allow grazing of animals.

· Apply fertilizer/compost every month.

4. Harvest the fodder.

· Napier: first cutting at 7 cm from the ground (to encourage vegetative growth) 6-8 weeks after planting. Then, cut regularly every 2-4 weeks, 10-15 cm from the ground.

· Cassava: first cutting 0.5 m from the ground, 8 weeks after planting then regularly after every four weeks.

· Legumes: first cutting 8-12 months after planting, then regularly after every 8-12 weeks, 0.3 meters from the ground.

5. Feed preparation

· Leaves of these fodder crops are used as feeds. However, for cassava, the tuber can also be used. The leaves are chopped in small pieces before feeding to hatchlings or fry. For big fish, the leaves are simply placed in the pond.


1. Pond Design

The pond (0.1 - 0.5 ha in size) should be established near water sources and should be free from flood or drought.

Bunds are built to separate the ponds. Bund width is between 2 - 3 m and capable of holding a water depth of 1 m.

Water is supplied through gravity flow. Screened inlet and output pipes are installed.

A feeding area within the pond is constructed (located at the side). Bamboo poles or trunks of trees can be used.

There are two types of pond:

· Nursery pond. Used for nursing 2.5 - 7.5 cm fry until the desired size is reached.

· Growout pond. Bigger than the nursery pond, it is used to raise fish up to marketable size or to grow fish for breeding.

2. Pond Preparation and System Establishment

· Drain the pond (if the pond is an old one from which the fish have been harvested). Remove silt on the pond bottom; this can be used as fertilizer.

Drain the pond

· Dry the pond bottom until the soil cracks. Plowing it first turns the soil over and facilitates drying.

Dry the pond

· Apply lime to condition the soil. Liming activates fertilizers and controls acidic soils which may harm the fish.

Apply lime to condition the soil

Quicklime is most commonly used at 200kg/ha.

· Fill the pond with water 2 weeks after liming. Water should fall from the water inlet into the pond below, so that the water mixes with oxygen from the air. Also check water condition:

Check water condition

- temperature = 22-32°C
- oxygen = 3 ppm
- pH = 6.5-3.3

· Add fertilizer to the pond to provide nutrient for fish and plankton growth. Chicken manure can be applied at the following rates:

Add fertilizer

Option 1

Nursery pond: 200 kg (first month)
Growout pond: 300 kg (first month)
300 kg (third month)
300 kg (fifth month)

Option 2

Grow out pond: 100 kg (first month)
20 kg (succeeding month)

· Stock the pond, preferably in the evening.

Stock the pond

Option 1, Grass carp is cultured in the nursery pond. After 4-6 months, the fish are transferred to the grow out pond with the big head carp and tilapia.

· Nursery pond (0.2 ha) - 500 pcs. grass carp (10 cm in size)

Grow out pond (0.3 ha)

Grass carp


Big head carp

100 (1.5 cm)


1,500 (2.5 cm)

Option 2, fish and prawn can be stocked directly to the growout pond.

Grass carp

100 (10-13 cm)

Javanese carp

300 (10-13 cm)

Freshwater giant


3,000 (1 cm)

Fish and prawn can be stocked directly

· Daily management of fish ponds.

Check the pond for leaks. Clean filters.

Check the pond for leaks

- Watch fish behavior.

Watch fish behavior

If the fish are at the pond surface, feeds are needed. If they are gasping at the surface or the prawn are in the periphery of the pond, aeration is needed. Aerate the pond by stirring the water with a tree branch.

Also, watch for predators.

- Feed the fish/prawn

Option 1: After the pond is fertilized, introduce duckweeds. Grass carp feed on duckweeds for the first month. Then, give chopped cassava leaves and napier grass. Feeding is twice a day (morning and afternoon).

Feed the fish/prawn

Upon transfer into the growout pond, feed the fish with grass and cassava leaves (200 kg/day). For tilapia, cooked maize, food left-overs and chopped cassava are given, The amount depends on the fish behavior. If the fish are still in the feeding area, more feeds are needed.

Option 2: At the start, feed the fish four times a day. Give rice bran, bread, chopped sago, cassava and napier grass.

For the fish, give feeds inside the feeding area. For the prawn, broadcast the feeds all over the pond. If there are still feeds found in the water, stop feeding.


· Monthly management of fish pond

- Check the pond walls and bottom. Remove any debris which might be a problem at harvest time, e.g., twigs, leaves, etc.

- Check the fertility and turbidity of the water by dipping the arm into the water. If the palm disappears before the water reaches the elbow, there is dense algal bloom.

- Check the fish carefully for any sign of disease.

Monthly management of fish pond

· About 3-4 partial harvests can be done using a sieve net before final harvest. For prawn, harvesting is after 6-7 months and 10-12 months for fish. Survival rate is about 70 - 90% for fish and about 30% for prawn.


· Environmentally sound.

· Prawn/fish is of high (economic) value.

· Seed is easily available.

· With polyculture, different water columns are used, minimizing competition for food among different species.

· Acceptable to consumers (as against fish grown in ponds loaded with manure or sewage)

· The fodder crop can last for 5-7 years with minimum maintenance.

· System is open to the introduction of additional components at a later stage.

· Various combinations can be used to get highest yields and incomes.


· Cannot be applied on a large-scale basis.
· Requires high-labor inputs.

Budget of fodder-fish integration.






Land clearing, burning, soil preparation,fertilizing, seeding and maintenance of 1 ha of land

300 00

Maintenance cost



Fish Seeds

Grass carp

225.00 (500 pcs)

40.00 (100 pcs)

Bighead carp

100.00 (100 pcs)


300.00 (1500 pcs)

Javanese carp


15.00 (300 pcs)



120.00 (3000 pcs)


300 00

30 00

Chicken manure






Total Expenses




Grass carp

180.00 (60 kg)

3200.00 (800 kg)

Bighead carp

510.00 (300 kg)


3240.00 (720 kg)

Javanese carp


180.00 (60 kg)



700.00 (70 kg)

Total Income






Annual Return (2 cycles/yr)


US $ 1 - M$ 2 70

Prepared by: RAIHAN Sh. Hj. AHMAD


Indian integrated fish-horticulture vegetable farming

Fish crop farming material flow

Integration of fault plants and vegetable farming on the fish pond embankment has been tested in India and has several advantages:

· The farmer gets additional income from growing fruits and vegetables on the pond embankment which normally lies fallow.

· The nutrient-rich pond mud is used as fertilizer for growing crops, eliminating the cost of organic manures.

· Manured pond water is used for irrigation of plants.

· Fruit and vegetable residues are used as feed for the fish.

· The plants on the embankment strengthen the dikes.


Select ponds near to your house. This helps in easy management of the pond and in discouraging poachers.

Check and repair the dikes and guard the inlets and outlets with meshed screens to avoid escape of stocked fishes and entry of unwanted fish. The pond should be deep enough so that it retains more than 1 m water during the dry period.

Strengthen the dikes and terrace them for planting crops and fruit plants.

Fish culture


Remove aquatic weeds. Compost and use them later as manure for the pond. Remove all the existing fish stock from the pond by repeated netting and draining the pond water. If it is not possible to drain the pond, kill the fishes by adding to the water 15 kg bleaching powder and 15 kg of urea (for 1000 sq m pond). Bleaching powder may be applied one day after urea application. Application of 250 kg Mahua oil cake (Basia latifolla) can also be done for the eradication of fish. Mix it thoroughly with the pond water and net all the fishes.

Manure the pond with the compost (made out of the aquatic weeds). Apply 500 kg basally; the rest (500 kg) may be applied in two equal installments at 4 months interval.

Stock the pond with fingerlings 7 days after poisoning as the toxicity of bleaching powder lasts for about one week. The recommended rates (at stocking density of 600/1000 sq m) are:



















Common carp


Silver carp


Grass carp


Common carp


Some alterations can be made on the stocking density and species ratio depending upon the pond conditions and availability of fish seed.

Calendar of activities for fish-horticulture farming


Pond preparation
Dike preparation and planting of fruits and vegetables


Stocking of the fish, Application of inorganic fertilizers to the crops


Pest control if necessary


Harvesting of vegetable,
Inorganic fertilizer application


Harvesting of vegetables


Harvesting of vegetables
Harvesting of papaya


Preparation of dike for second crop of vegetables
Harvesting of papaya
Plantation of second crop of veg.


Partial harvesting of fish
Harvesting of papaya & banana


Harvesting of papaya & banana


Harvesting of vegetable (P & B)


Harvesting of vegetable (P & B)


Final harvesting of fish
Harvesting of vegetable papaya and banana (P & B)


The fish which attain marketable size should be harvested and the rest allowed to grow further. Final harvesting may be done 10-12 months after stocking.


The dikes are strengthened, terraced, prepared and fertilized by application of pond silt

Bananas, papayas, pumpkins, gourds, spinach, Brinjals, tomatoes, cucumbers and leafy vegetables are grown on the dikes.

Inorganic fertilizer is also applied to the plants in addition to pond silt @10 kg/year divided into installments.

Water the crops with manure pond water.

Planting of papaya is done in June/July and banana in October/November and harvesting starts after 6 and 8 months following planting, respectively. A portion of the harvested fruits is consumed by the farmer and the rest are sold in the market.

The vegetable crops are grown and harvested twice in a year—once during August/September and the second time in March/April. After meeting the requirements of the farm family, the vegetables are sold. The list of vegetables and horticultural crops grown on the pond embankments is given below.

Fruit Plants


Vegetable Plants

Bottle gourd
Ladies fingers
Colocasia and
other leafy vegetables

Crop farming

Rupee budget for fish-horticulture vegetable in 0.1 ha. Pond.



Pond preparation

15 kg. bleaching powder and 15 kg. urea at 4.15/1<9.


Manuring with compost from aquatic weeds - 1000 kg. 100

600 fingerlings at 250/1000


Labor & nets


Fish culture tools and equipments


Planting materials

10 banana suckers at 2/piece


20 papaya seedlings at 1/piece


Vegetable seeds


10 kg. inorganic fertilizers at 5/1<9.


Pesticides/Horticultural equipment




Pond rental (opportunity cost)


Interest on working capital @15%





Fish sale (200 kg. at 20/kg.)


Papaya (150 kg. at 3/kg.)


Banana (10 bunches at 20/bunch)


Green vegetables (159 kg. at 3/leg.




Cash flow for integrated fish-horticulture-crop farming for 0.1 ha. Pond.




























- 199






- 179





* Cash inflow starts from the month of November, when the harvesting of vegetable is initiated.

** Cash inflow goes up to Rs 1075 in the month of March, when partial harvesting of fish is also done.

*** Cash inflow includes harvesting of second crop of vegetables from April to July.

Prepared by: S.D. TRIPATHI & B.K. SHARMA


Culture of short-cycle species in seasonal ponds and ditches of Bangladesh

Homestead seasonal ponds, ditches and road-side canals, which are formed either due to borrowing of soil for house or road construction or ponds dug for household uses (bathing, washing) or irrigation, can be used for aquaculture of short-cycle species, such as Silver barb (Puntius gonlonotus) or nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Even 80-100 sq m ditches as shallow as 70-80 cms can be used for culture of these species, using on-farm agricultural wastes and by-products, as inputs. Even ponds which retain water for only 3-4 months can be used for culture of these species. The culture practice is simple, requiring very low labor input and, hence, can be undertaken by women and children, producing fish for household consumption and for market. Landless farmers can also benefit from this technology by culturing fish in common property road-side ditches.

Material flow between homestead enterprises

Agroecosystem transect of mymensingh-sylhet flood plain area in Bangladesh.


1. Pond Preparation

· Branches of trees on pond embankment should be cut or trimmed. Pond should be cleared of submerged and floating weeds as they utilize pond nutrients and obstruct penetration of sunlight into water, resuting in low production of fish food organisms.

Clearing away weeds

Trimming branches to allow sunlight

· For lowering of acidity, better utilization of fertilizer and for disinfection, lime need to be applied to the pond at the rate of 25 9 for each sq m. Spread lime on pond bottom if pond is dry or mix with water and spray if pond is with water.

2. Fertilization

· For good production of fish food organisms (plankton) in the pond on which depend growth of fish, the pond needs to be fertilized. Organic manures or chemical fertilizers can be used for the purpose. Cattle dung (100 g/sq m) or chicken manure (50 g/sq m) or urea (2 g/sq m) and triple superphosphate (5 g/sq m) need to be applied once every two weeks.

· Organic manure can be heaped in the corners of the pond while chemical fertilizers need to be dissolved in water and spread in the pond.


· A pond of 500 sq m needs every two weeks 25 kg of cattle dung or 15 kg of chicken manure or 1 kg of urea and 2.5 kg triple superphosphate.

3. Stocking

· Depending on farmer's choice, Nile tilapia or silver barb (P. gonionotus) can be cultured in the Pond.

· In case of Nile tilapia, 2 fingerlings/sq m, while in case of silver barb, 3 fingerlings/2 sq m need to be stocked.


· If the pond retains water for more then 6 months, in addition to silver barb, 3 fingerlings/40 sq m of catla (Catla catla) or silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and 2 fingerlings/40 sq m of common carp (Cyprinus carpio). This will increase total fish production.

· Healthy fingerlings should be procured from a reliable hatchery or supplier. Better to stock 3-5 9 size, as they would reach table size early, especially in case of ponds which retain water for only 3-4 months.

4. Feeding

· For good production, supplementary feeds should be given in the pond. Kitchen waste, duck weeds, azolla, green leaves of kangkong, sweet potato and tender terrestrial grasses can be given. Rice bran or wheat bran wilt increase growth and production of fish.


· Feeding should be done once or twice a day. Quantity of feed to be given increases with size of fish. A tentative schedule of feeding rice bran in a 500 sq pond is shown in chart. If kitchen wastes or weeds are given, quantity of rice bran shown in chart can be reduced.

5. Pond Management

· Green color of water indicates good production of fish food organisms (plankton). Clear water indicates lack of enough fish food. By dipping your hand in the water, seeing it half - way to the elbow indicates lack of enough fish food. In such case, increase fertilization. If the hand disappears haf-way to elbow, it indicates sufficient plankton. If it disappears after dipping the palm, it indicates plankton bloom, with deep green color and this can deplete oxygen in pond water, especially during night and cloudy days and can result in mortality of stocked fish. Stop feeding and fertilization till the water color becomes lighter.

Poor plankton

Good plankton

Plankton bloom

· Tilapia breeds in pond, leading to overpopulation. This results in poor growth of fish due to competition for food. Hence, tilapia fries which move in schools along the banks of pond can be removed, using a scoop net. They can either be sold or crushed and given as feed in the pond.

6. Harvesting

· Harvesting of fish can be started as soon as fish reach table size or when the water level in the pond goes below 4-50 cm. You can always harvest for family consumption or at one time for marketing. 75-100 kg of fish could be harvested from a 500 sq m pond in 5-6 months.


7. Disease

· When temperature goes down to about 20°C and below during November-January, Silver barb is susceptible to ulcerative syndrome disease which starts as red spots on fish and later becomes a wound.

· When infection is seen, apply lime in pond at the rate of 25 g/sq m pond area.

Taka budget for puntius gonionotus and nile tilapia culture in a seasonal pond of 500 sq m for six months.




300 kg Cattle dung at 0.35/kg



300 kg Rice bran at 1.50/kg



Labor for pond clean) ng and harvesting



12.5 kg Lime at 3/kg



750 Fingerlings at 0.30 each



Transportation cost of fingerlings







75 kg fish at TK 40/kg






* 1 US$ = Taka 38

Note: If on-farm sources of cattle dung and rice bran are used along with family labor, then 690 Taka can be saved which will raise the balance to 2,707 Taka for Puntius and 1,932 Taka for Tilapia.

Prepared by: MODADUGU V. GUPTA



Integrated fish-duck farming

Raising ducks over fish ponds fits very well with the fish polyculture system as the ducks are highly compatible with cultivated fishes. The system is advantageous to the farmers in many ways.

Duke house on the pond

Duke house by the dike

1. When given free range over the pond surface, ducks fertilize the pond by their droppings. Ducks have been termed as manuring machines for their efficient and labor-saving method of pond manuring, resulting in complete savings on pond fertilizer and supplementary feed which accounts for 60% of the total cost in conventional fish culture.

2. Ducks keep water plants in check.

3. Ducks loosen the pond bottom with their dabbling and help in release of nutrients from the soil which increase the pond productivity.

4. Ducks, while swimming in the water, aerate the water and have been termed as blological aerators.

5. No additional land is required for duckery activities as the duck houses are constructed on the pond dikes.

6. Ducks get most of their total feed requirements from the pond in the form of aquatic weeds, insects, larvae, earthworms, etc. They need very little feed and farmers normally give kitchen wastes, molasses, rice bran, etc., for the purpose.

"Biological AERATORS; "


Successful pond management is the basis of profitable fish culture. Build pond (about 1000 sq m) near your house, to enable you to take proper care of your ducks and fish and to discourage poaching.

Check the pond dikes and repair the damages, if any. Deepen the pond so that it retains more than 1 m depth during the dry season.

Drain or dry the pond and remove or kill all the remaining fish stock from the pond by applying 15 kg bleaching powder and 15 kg urea/1000 sq m.

Urea and bleaching powder may be applied one after the other and the dead fish netted out. Alternatively, 250 kg of Mahnood cake (Basia latifolia) may be applied which not only kills fish but also acts as pond fertilizer

Repair dike damage

Manure the pond with a basal dose of cattle dung @ 500 kg/1000 sq m. Stock the pond with fingerlings 7 days after poisoning as the toxicity of bleaching powder lasts for about one week. The fingerlings of over 10 cm size should be stocked as the smaller ones are likely to be preyed upon by the ducks. The recommended rantes of stocking (per 1000 sq m at a stocking denity of 600) are:

3 Species culture


1000 m2

Stocking density








4 Secies culture







Common cam


6 Species culture







Silver carp


Grass cam


Common carp


Some alterations can be made on the stocking density and species ratio depending upon the pond conditions and availability of seed.

Grass cam should be fed regularly with aquatic or terrestrial vegetations. The grass carp should be fed before the Indes are allowed to come out of the Inde house, otherwise they will spread the weeds over the entire pond surface.

Species carps


The fish which attain marketable size should be harvested and the rest allowed to grow further.
Final harvesting may be done 10-12 months after stocking.

Calendar for duck-fish farming


Egg-laying by ducks depends upon many factors, including breed and strain, but good management contributes considerably towards the achievement of optimum egg-flesh production.

The ducks do not need elaborate housing since they remain in the pond most of the day. A low-cost night shelter made of bamboo or any other cheap material should be available in the area either on the pond embankment or on the water surface. The house should be well-ventilated and so designed that the washings are drained into the pond.

About 30 ducks are sufficient to fertilize a pond of 1000 sq m; this number only needs a (house) floor area of 13-4 sq m. About 3-4 month-old ducklings are kept on the pond after giving them necessary prophylate treatment and safeguard against epidemic.

Water hyacinth


dukes eating choped weater hyacinth

The ducks can find natural food from the pond. They will need very little supplementary feed which can come from household wastes, such as kitchen leftovers, rice bran, broken rice and spoiled cereals, if any. Alternatively, a balanced feed may be purchased and given @ 50 g/bird/day.

Ducks are susceptible to afflotoxicosis; therefore, mouldy feed or feed kept for long time should be avoided.

The ducks start laying at the age of 24 weeks. Laying boxes with straw may be kept in the duck house for egg-laying.

Proper sanitation and health care are very important to maintain a healthy stock. A sick bird is easy to detect: it becomes listless, its eyes lack brightness and watery discharge comes out of the eyes and nostrils. The sick bird should immediately be isolated and treated.

The eggs are collected every morning from the duck house as the ducks lay eggs only at night. The ducks lay eggs for two years; after two years, they should be culled.

Fish-duck farming material flow

Rupee budget for fish-duck farming in 0.1 ha pond.


Pond preparation with 15 kg bleaching powder and 5 kg Urea at 4.15/kg


Manuring with basal dose of 500 kg cattle dung at 10/100 kg


600 Fingerlings at 250/1000


Net & labor for harvesting


Fish culture tools



Bamboo duck house


30 Ducklings (4 months old at 20/bird)


810 kg feed at 3/kg








Fish sale (400 kg 20/kg)


Egg sale (3100 100/100)

3 100

Duck sale (60 kg 20/kg)

1 200





Cash flow for integrated fish-duck farming for 0.1 ha. pond.




























-406 -
























* Cash inflow starts from October when the ducks start laying.
** Cash inflow increases in February and April when partial harvesting of fish is done.

Integrated poultry-fish farming

Poultry raising for meat (broilers) or eggs (layers) can be integrated with fish culture, to cut down costs on fertilizers and feeds in fish culture and maximize benefits. Poultry can be raised over or adjacent to the ponds and the poultry excrete recycled to fertilize the fish ponds. Raising poultry over the pond has certain advantages: H maximizes the use of space, saves labor in transporting manure to the ponds and poultry housing will be more hygienic. No significant differences have been observed on the chicken's growth or egg-laying when they are raised over the ponds or on land. In case of the former the pond embankment could still be utilized for raising vegetables.


1. Pond Preparation

· Remove predatory and weed fish either by draining the pond or applying of piscicide, such as Phostoxin/Qulckphos, at the rate of 1 tablet/23 cu m water.

· Apply 25 kg lime to pond bottom if the pond is dry, or dissolve lime in water and spray it if pond has water.

Pond Preparation

2. Stocking

· Stock 600-1,000 fingerlings of Indian carps catla (Catla catla), rohu (Labeo rohita), (Clrrhinus mrigala) and Chinese carps silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon Idella) and common carp (Cyprlnus carplo). Ratio of species could be 40% surface feeders (catla and silver carp), 20% rohu, 30% bottom feeders (mrigal and common carp) and 10% grass carp.

3. Feeding. No feeds need to be given, as the feed spilled by chicken (which could be as much as 10%) will be falling into ponds.

4. Fertilizatlon. No fertilizer is needed, excepting for excrete of chicken falling into ponds.


5. Harvesting. Harvesting of fish could start 6-7 months after stocking when some fish reach table size.

6. Oxygen depletion. When water becomes deep green due to plankton blooms, oxygen in the water may get depleted and fish may die. In such cases, put mats or plastic sheet below the poultry house to catch the chicken excrete. If possible, irrigate the pond with fresh water.


For the first 14 days, chicks need to be raised separately in a brooder (not on pond), as they need higher temperature of 28-33°C (85-95°F). Each chick during this period needs a space of 9 sq inches. To maintain the required temperature range, the chicks could be enclosed in a bamboo fence and hang an electric or kerosene lamp above them. A rice husk heater can also be used.

1. BROILERS: 30-50 broilers could be raised on 1000 sq m pond.

· The poultry house can be constructed over the pond at least 0.5 m above maximum pond water level, or on the embankment. Each bird requires 1.5 sq ft space (50 birds require 75 sq ft space). The house can be made of bamboo or any other locally available cheap materials. Roof can be covered with hay or some such material. Enough cross ventilation should be maintained to keep cool during hot days. Floor to be constructed with bamboo slats, with 1 cm gap, to allow excrete to tall all into pond, but not big enough for the chicken's feet to get caught in between and injured.


· Any fast-growing chicken, like Shavar Starbro broilers, can be raised.

· Feed with starter mash from 1-4 weeks and finisher mash from 5-8 weeks, given as much as they can consume. 100 kg starter mash requires 50 kg crushed wheat, 14.5 kg rice bran, 16 kg sesame oil cake, 19 kg. fish meal and 0.5 kg salt.100 kg finisher mash requires 50 kg crushed wheat, 17 kg rice bran, 15 kg sesame oil cake 16 kg fish meal, 1.5 kg. bone meal and 0.5 kg salt. In both cases, vitamin premix is added at the rate of 250
9/100 kg of feed.

· Water should be provided at all times.

House for 50 broiler chicken


2. LAYERS: 30-50 layers can be raised over a pond of 1000 sq m.

· Housing can be constructed on pond or on embankment. Each bird requires 3 sq ft floor area.

· Any good strain of chicken, like Star Cross Shavar, could be raised.

· For the first 16 weeks, feed is given at the rate of 80-110 g/day/bird and from 17th week onwards, 11012Og/day/bird. Feed composition is given in the following chart:


Feed composition


0-4 weeks

4-16 weeks

16 weeks above

Crushed wheat




Rice polish




Sesame oil cake




Fish meal




Bone meal








Vitamins premix @ 250g/100 kg feed

· Temperature maintenance. Temperature in the poultry house should always be above 20-22°C. When the temperature goes below this level, hang two 200-watt bulbs or two kerosene lamps for every 50 chickens. A rice husk heater can also be used.

· Production. Broilers reach market size of 1.5-1.8 kg in 7-8 weeks and it is possible to raise six batches in a year. Layers start laying after 22 weeks and 250-280 eggs/bird/year could be obtained. Egglaying becomes uneconomical after chickens reach the age of 18 months, when they need to be replaced.

Feed composition

· Poultry diseases. Because the chickens are usually kept in confinement, they are susceptible to disease. When disease strikes, the whole flock may be affected: growth will be retarded, egg production will be go down, or the chickens may die. Thus, broilers will not reach market weight in time. For layers, sexual maturity is delayed. Protective measures are needed.

Poultry disease and preventive treatment

Vaccinate Your Poultry

Vaccines can be obtained from the livestock office in your area, free of cost. The following are some reminders when collecting vaccines:

· Bring a good thermoflask and a little cotton wool.

· Do not waste vaccine. Obtain only the exact amount needed. Vaccine production costs a lot to the government.

· Store vaccines at low temperature, preferably in a refrigerator, to maintain their effectiveness.

Equipment Necessary in Vaccination

· Thermoflask of sufficient capacity to carry the vaccines.

· Nylon syringes—one or two, graduated at one ml intervals. Smaller-capacity syringe is preferable.

· Needles of gauge 20 or 21 and 14 or 15. Shorter needless of 1-2 cm length are preferable for poultry vaccination. A few large sewing needless suitably modified for Fowl Pox vaccination.

· A measuring cylinder.

· Two wide-mouth bottles: one to carry distilled water and the other to dilute vaccines, when necessary. These items preferably should be of nylon or polypropylene could be sterilized by boiling when necessary.

Reminders When Vaccinating Poultry

· Sterilize syringes, needless and all other equipment before using.

· Put ice cubes at the bottom of the thermoflask and a layer of cotton wool before placing the vaccine vial. Close the flash.

· Check vaccine if it looks all right. Do not use discolored or unusual-looking vaccines.

· Use distilled water purchased from a pharmacy when diluting vaccines, or boil clean water for 1015 minutes. Cool down then strain into a clean bottle

· When only a small amount of distilled water has to be added, draw the required amount into the sterile syringe and injected into the vial. Dissolve by vigorously shaking the vial.

· Pour the balanced amount of distilled water into the mixing bottle. Draw the dissolved vaccine into the syringe. Pour into the mixing bottle containing the balanced quantity of distilled water, thoroughly mix with a sterilized rod.

· In case of Fowl Pox, remove the required amount into a sterilized empty vial and use for vaccination. This prevents contamination and subsequent waste of surplus vaccine.

Do not spill vaccines. This could be fatal to chickens.

· Hold the needle with the knob. Do not touch the tip when assembling the syringe for vaccination. Contaminated needless should not be used until sterilized.

· Before vaccination, confine the birds, picking up one by one and releasing after vaccination. This makes vaccination easy and no bird is missed.

· Do not vaccinate birds suffering from disease or in a state of stress. Vaccinate them only when they are back to normal.

· Two vaccines should not be given the same day. A 10-day gap is needed between two successive vaccinations.

· Record data so that the next vaccination will be known.

· It leftover diluted vaccine can be used within a short period, it should be put in a clean polythene bag and placed in the flask containing ice.

· Wash all equipment used with soap and clean water, then sterilize in boiling water.

· Thoroughly clean empty vaccine viais. Return them to the Livestock Officer when collecting the next requirement of vaccines.

· Vaccinate birds on time.



· A broiler farmer needs capital for investment for raising one cycle of broilers, which he can sell after 78 weeks. The sale proceeds can be used for the next batch.

· A layer farmer needs capital investment for chicken feed for the first 22 weeks. When the hens start laying, the farmer can use the sale proceeds from eggs for chicken feed.

· A broiler farmer needs capital for:

Chicken shed: TK 5,000; Life expectancy 3 years


Feeder and watered: TK 200; Life expectancy 4 years


Taka budget from 1,000 sq m pond in integrated poultry fish farming with 50 broilers.


6 Batches of broilers (one batch is 53 days TK 15.00/chick, 6% mortality)


Feed (202.5 kg at TK 9.75/kg)








Lime: (25 kg. at TK 3/kg.)


Fish fingerlings (600 at TK 400/1,000)


Labor for netting


Total costs



Broiler meat: (6 batches x 50 chicks x 1.5 kg x 52)


Fish (500 kg at TK 35/kg)


Total income




Taka budget from 1,000 sq m pond in integrated poultry fish farming with 50 layers over 18-month period.


52 day old chicks (at TK 22 each, 4% mortality)



8.5 kg/bird at TK 9 up to 20 weeks


120 g/bird/day at TK 7.75 from 20-72 weeks






Lime: (25 kg. at Tk 3/kg.)


600 Fish fingerlings at TK 400/1000


Labor for netting


Total costs



Chicken eggs (65% eve production 52 weeks x 7 days x 32.5 eggs x TK 2.4)


Chicken (50 birds x 2.2 kg x TK 45)


Fish (600 kg at TK 35/kg)


Total income




1 US$ - TK 38

Integrated fish-pig farming (1000 sq meter unit: India)

Fish-pig farming material flow

The raising of pigs can fruitfully be blended 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:

· The pig dung acts as excellent pond fertilizer and raises the biological productivity of the pond and consequently increases fish production.

· Some of the fishes feed directly on the pig excrete which contains 70% digestible food for the fish.

· No supplementary feed is required for the fish culture which normally accounts for 60% of the total input cost in conventional fish culture.

· The pond dikes provide space for erection of animal housing units.

· Pond water is used for cleaning the pigsties and for bathing the pigs.

· The system cannot be adopted in all parts of India due to religious consideration but it has special significance in certain specific areas as it can improve the socioeconomic status of weaker rural communities, especially the tribals who traditionally raise pigs and can take up fish-pig farming easily.


The ponds measuring about 1000 sq m 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 one meter water depth during the dry period.


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 1000 sq m 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:

6 Species







Silver carp


Grass carp


Common carp




3 species









6 species

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

Grass carp should be fed regularly with aquatic or terrestial vegetation. Liming of 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 3 times depending upon the growth of fish and the final harvesting may be done after 10-12 months.


The number of pigs required will depend upon the pond area. The exereta of 3 pigs is sufficient to fertilize a pond of 1000 sq m. So, 3 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 a long with one lot of fish.

Sample illustration of pig sty located on a pond dike

Illustration showing sloping floor

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 excrete away from the ponds as the pond develops algal bloom or any other abnormality. Washings of pigsties are drained into the pond after sunrise to avoid oxygen depletion.

Calendar of activities for fish-pig farming

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 sq m2.

Rupee budget of fish-pig farming in 0.1 ha pond.




Fish culture

Pond preparation with 15 kg bleaching powder and15 kg urea at 4.15/kg


Fingerlings (850 at 250/1000)


Liming (25 kg at 2/kg)


Nets and labor for harvesting


Fish culture equipment


Pond rental



Pig raising



Fattening of two lots of piglets for six months each

a) First lot

Weaned piglets (3 at 30 each


Pig feed (540 kg at 2/kg)


b) Second lot







Interest on the working capital @ 15%





Fish sale (600 kg at 20/kg)


Meat sale (300 kg live weight at 17/kg)





Cash flow for integrated fish-pig farming For 0.1 ha. Pond.




















































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

Calendar of activities for fish-pig farming


Pond preparation, erection of pigsties, raising of piglets


Stocking fingerlings, fattening and care of pigs


Fattening and care of pigs and fish culture


Fattening and care of pig and fish culture


First partial harvesting of fish


Harvesting of first lot of pigs


Fattening of second lot of pigs


Second partial harvesting of fish


Fattening of pig and fish


Third partial harvesting of fish


Preparation for final harvesting of pigs and fish


Final harvesting of fish and second lot of pigs


Backyard integrated pig-fish culture (100-150 sq m unit: philippines)

Integrated pig-fish culture is not a new concept; it has been practiced for many years in most of Asia. Raising pigs and fish at the same time has several advantages:

· Fish farmers can produce fish without feeding and hauling manure to fertilize the pond.

· Pig-fish culture maximizes land use by integrating two farm enterprises in the same area.

· The fish pond serves as a sanitary disposal place for animal wastes.

· Backyard integrated pig-fish culture provides additional income and a cheap source of animal protein for the family.


1. Pond Construction

Establish the pond near a water source. However, the site should be free from flooding. Inlet and outlet pipes should be installed and screened.

One pig can sufficiently fertilize a 100-150 sq m pond with. its manure. The water depth should be maintained at 60-100 cm. With this recommended pond area and water depth together with the right stocking density, problems of organic pollution are avoided.

Pond Construction

A diversion canal can be constructed to channel excess manure into a compost pit or when manure loading needs to be stopped.

2. Location of the Pig Pen

The pig pen should be constructed over the dikes near the fish pond. Preferably, the floor should be made of concrete and should slope toward the pond. A pipe is necessary to convey the manure into the pond. An alternative design is to construct the pig pen over the pond. The floor is made of bamboo slats spaced just enough to allow manure to fall directly into the pond but not too wide for the feet of the pigs to slip into (thus, causing injuries). The pen should have a floor area of 1 m x 1.5 m for each pig.

Location of the pig pen option 1

Location of the pig pen option 2

3. Stocking

· Stock the pond with fingerlings once the pond is filled up with water. The recommended stocking rate are as follows:

Monoculture: Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) -2 fish/sq m (3-5 g eve wt)


:200 fish/100 sq m (3-5 g eve wt)

85% Tilapia(170 fingerlings)

13% Common carp (Cyprinus carplo, 26 fingerlings)

2% Snake heads (Channa striata) and

Cat fish (Clarlas batrachus) - 4 fingerlings, 1-2 9 eve wt


200 fish/100 sq m (Vietnam and Thailand experience)

50% Pangaslus micronemus (100 fingerlings, 10 g)

30% Tilapia (60 fingerlings, 3-5 g)

20% Kissing gourami (Hllostoma temminckl) - 40 fingerlings, 1-2 g

· Stock the pig pen with 8-10 kg or 1 1/2 month old weanlings.
· Fish and piglets can be stocked at the same time.

4. Feeding

Feed the pigs twice a day. Supplemental feeds such as ipil-ipil (Leucaena leucocephala) or kangkong (Ipomea aquatica) may be given.

5. Harvesting

· Harvest the fish after 4-5 months. Collect fingerlings for the next growing season; sell the surplus. Partial harvesting for family consumption can also be done as needed.

· Sell the pig after 4-5 months..

· Scrape out the organic waste or mud on the pond floor and use as fertilizer for the vegetable crop.


· High cost of inputs (feeds and weanlings)

· Consumers may be reluctant to eat fish produced in manure-loaded ponds, creating potential marketing problems.

· Farmers want their animals close to their homes (because of theft problems, and this may not be always possible.


1. Raise crossbred/native pigs to reduce feed cost.

2. To make the harvested fish from manure-loaded ponds more acceptable to consumers, remove the socalled "muddy" or off- flavor taste by:

· Stop loading manure to the pond a few days before harvesting fish.

· Transfer harvested fish to a net enclosure installed in a clear pond at least 4-6 hours prior to selling or eating them.

Cost and return of the backyard integrated pig-fish culture (five months)


Pig component


P 1,000.00

Commercial feeds



34 00

Rice bran (25 kg)




Pig pen maintenance


Fish component

Pond maintenance




P 3,008.10

Income Output

Pig (1 head)

P 3,050 00

Fish (27.5 kg at 40/kg)


Fish fingerlings (1 ,100 at P.02/piece)


P 4,370.00


P 1,369.90

Capital Investments (Fixed items)

Pig pen (P500 at 6 years)

P 500.00

Pond construction




P 780.00

Rate of return on investment = (1369.90 /780) x100 = 176%


* For P00 invested, the farmer gets P176.00
* Entire capital costs can be recovered in one production cycle and yet retain a surplus.
* U.S. $ 1. = P26

Prepared by: FRANK FERMIN



Low-input rice-fish farming system in irrigated areas in Malaysia

Rice-fish farming system is an old tradition, practiced extensively in the North Kerian Area of Perak, Peninsula Malaysia. The area is an alluvial coastal flood plain and receives irrigated water from the Tasik Merah reservoir. The soil is primarily clay with some acidity problems. Rice is double-cropped and short season high - yielding rice varieties are used.


There are approximately 352,000 ha or rice fields in Peninsula Malaysia, out of which 120,000 ha (34%) have sufficient water depth (15-16 cm.) for rice-fish system.


· The system, which is essentially wild fish ranching, requires little labor and material inputs. Fish from the irrigation canals, ditches and rice fields are trapped early in the rice-growing season, grown together with rice, and later harvested at the end of the season.



Rice field sizes vary from 0.81 to 1.42 ha. A sump pond, which can also be a disused well or borrow pit, ranging in size from 6.5 to 8.0 m diameter, is located at the lowest part of the field. Sump pond, which is cooler and has higher dissolved oxygen content, provides shelter for fish during periods of low water level. Perimeter trenches (0.25 m wide and 0.1 m deep) may be dug around the field to enable fish to move to and from the sump pond. These open trenches also act as feeding areas for fish to feed upon zooplankton especially during the fry and fingerling stages when zooplankton is important for early growth. Mud obtained from digging the trenches is used to strengthen the dikes (0.3 m high) around the field.

Farm layout option 1

Farm layout option 2

· No supplementary feeding is provided. Fish obtain food from natural sources in the rice fields. The system fertility depends on rice fertilization which is applied twice during the growing season. Urea (46% N) and NPK (17.5-15.5-10.0) fertilizers are used at the rate of 56 and 112 kg/ha, respectively. To further increase productivity and food availability, liming of the sump pond (if required) and manuring (if available) should be done.

Material Flow option 1

Material Flow option 2


Local species

Local species grow well in rice fields. They have adapted to the shallow water, high turbidity and temperature and low dissolved oxygen conditions of the fields.

· The snakeskin goramy (Trichogasterpectoralis) is numerically the most important. This species and the three-spot goramy (T. trichopterus) are herbivore/plankton and occupy the lower rung in the food chain.

· Climbing perch (Anabas testudineus) is an insectivore.

· The catfish (Clarias macrocephalus), an omnivore, and the mudtish or snakehead (Channa strata), a camivore, are also important species.
Newly considered speclea

· Tilapia (Oreochromis spp), a herbirore/plantivore/insectivore, is ecologically suitable and economically important.

· Other species to be considered is the freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergi).

Calendar 0P activities

During fallow season, sump pond should be depend once every five years to about 1.5 - 2.0 m deep. Perimeter trenches (0.25 m wide 'D'; & 0.1 m deep) should be dug. Dike should be raised about 0 0:4 m, liming if needed should be done and manure available should be applied

Once water is available field repartition should be done by cutting raking and removing dead woods In about 7-10 days all exits should be blocked to prevent fish from escaping.

Transplanting of rice darlings weeding should be done especially in the trenches to provide feeding area (on plantation) for young fish

First fertilization add 5.6 kg/Ha furadan (carbofuran) mixed with urea (56 kg/Ha) and NPK (112 kg/Ha). Second fertilization after 60-60 days as above

Check the richfield as WELL AS the FISH. stop ALL leakage’s to prevent fish from escaping

When rice is about reads to be harvested drain the pond to harvest the fish. Take only marketable size fish (size depends on market demand) leave smaller fish as stoke for next seasons

Seasonal calendar


· Fish sales provide an important supplementary income especially to tenant farmers. Contribution from fish are 6.8 and 9.0 percent for owner and tenant farmers, respectively. Since little inputs are involved, the yields contribute significantly to farmers seasonal income.

· Fish are sold to dealers who provide pump, nets and other accessories needed to harvest fish. Small fish are left behind as stock for the next growing season. Marketable size fish are: snakeskin goramy 14 cm, catfish 20 cm and snakehead 25 cm.

Estimated range of potential yields obtainable from traditional & low input systems

* Option I traditional system

Option II improvements - building trenches, deepening sump ponds improving dikes, manuring and liming of sump ponds.

** include small-sized fish which are left behind for future stocks and climbing perch which is consumed or salted as "pekasam" and sold, potential

Estimated simplified budgets for the two systems.



Option I

Option II

Option I

Option II

Yields (ranges)

Cash from fish sales





Cash from "pekasam"

Sales (4-6 kg. x 5-6 kg/season - 2.00/1<9.)





Non-cash (domestic consumption -mostly snakeskin goramy 10-20 kg/season












Fixing dikes, trenches and sump pond and other mgt. act (4.5 day x us$ 4-00)



· Manure (12.5 kg x US$0.80)



· Lime (8.5 kg x US$ 0.80)






(a - b)





*Notice how in the first season, Option I has no initial costs and thus a higher net income than System II.

** However, in the second season, the costs for Option II go down and farmer gets a higher return compared to Option I.


· Short growing season due to double cropping of rice
· Improper and excessive pesticides and herbicides' use
· Uncontrolled flooding may result to fish loss.
· No proper management/lack of manpower
· Low productivity and low-carrying capacity since no regular supplementary feeding is provided
· Distance of sump pond from house
· Conflicting government program in the form of subsidy for rice.


· Provides additional food and income

· No additional expenses, except when system is modified, such as building trenches, strengthening dikes, etc.

· No major changes in normal farm practices; modifications to improve yields are adapted to the traditional practices by farmers if affordable. The no-improvement system (option 1) is sustainable for limited labor/older couple situations.

· Optimizes disuse and underutilized existing resources

· Maintains gene pool for locally valuable species.

Rice-fish systems in Indonesia

Rice-fish farming has a long history in Indonesia. In general, farmers have developed the systems that are now existing. The widely practiced rice-fish systems in irrigated areas of West Java are: minapadl, penyelang and fish palawija A special system called sawak tambak also exists in the coastal areas of East Java.

Rice-fish systems in Indonesia

Fish produced from ricefields are mostly seed fish for restocking in grow out systems, such as floating net and bamboo cages, running water (concrete tanks) and irrigation canal systems.

Minapadi system

Rice Agronomy

Rice varieties which are proven to yield high with fish during wet season such as IR 64 and during dry season such as Cillwung are planted. Planting distance in a thoroughly prepared land is 20 x 20 cm, 22 x 22 cm or 25 x 25 cm. In West Java, fertilizers used (and their rates of application in kg/ha) are: urea,200; triple superphosphate,100; potassium chloride, 100; and ammonium sulfate, 50. Water level is kept low during the filleting stage of rice. It is gradually raised to 10-15 cm throughout the rice growth.

Fish Culture

Common carp weighing 15-25 9 are stocked at 2,500-3,000/ha 7-10 days after rice planting. A center or cross-trench occupies about 2% of the total rice field area. Harvesting is done by draining the field slowly after a culture period of 40-60 days. Within this period, the fish attain 50-100 9, the size desired for stocking cages and running water culture systems.

Penyelang system

This is the culture of fish in between the first and second rice crops. Fish culture period is shorter than palawija system. A portion of the ricefield with rice stubbles is immediately stocked with common carp, while preparing the remaining portion for the dry season rice crop.

Stocking size varies: 5-8 or 8-12 cm or 15-25 9, depending on availability. Stocking rate is 2,0004,000/ha. Water depth is 10-20 cm. Fish are harvested after 30-40 days. This short period may not produce the desired size for growout in cages and running water systems, especially if stocked small. However, growout operators also buy small fish seeds if supply is scarce. The unsold small fish are restocked in the following dry season crop.

Penyelang system

Rice-fish cropping pattern in sawah tamak



Sawah Tambak rice-fish system in Indonesia

Literally, sawah tambak means ricefield pond (bracitishwater). However, this term refers here to the 12,152 ha rice-fish farm area in East Java which involves 15,000 households. Depending on the depth of floodwater in each area and fish or rice culture intensity, the sawah tambak rice-fish systems can be classified into the following:

System in Indonesia

1. Concurrent rice-fish system during wet season: appropriate in areas where inundation and the risk against submergence of rice is low. On the other hand, water is not sufficient to support a dry season rice crop.

2. Concurrent rice-fish (wet season) followed by dry season rice: done in areas where standing water is not so deep and water is sufficient to support dry season rice crop.

3. Fish culture (no rice) in wet season followed by dry season rice: appropriate in areas where flooding is deep.

4. Fish culture throughout: done in areas where farmers prefer to raise fish instead of rice in the entire flooding season.


Field Components

1. Peripheral dike. This is built by excavating the inner peripheral canal of the field. base width: 4-5 m; top width: 2-2.2 m; height: 1.4 - 1.8 m

2. Peripheral canal/trench. This serves as a fish refuge, nursery, holding/transition place, catching canal, and source of water for dry season rice. bottom width: 2 - 4 m; top width: 2.8 - 3.2 m; depth: 0.3 - 0.7 m

3. Ricefield area. The area used for planting rice is surrounded by a temporary bund 0.5 m high. This retains the water required by rice for its growth. The bund is also needed especially in concurrent ricefish '' system. sketch of A typical SAWAN tambak sketch OF holding place

Sketch a typical sawah tambak

Sketch a typical sawah tambak (transection)

Water Supply

Water comes from rainfall or seepage. Thus, there is no need to provide water inlet or outlet gates. When it is necessary to reduce or add water, pumping or boiling out water by the traditional method is used.

Prevention of Fish Escape During Floods

Farmers have ready grasses, plant leaves and similar materials to spread on top of dikes when flooks overtop dikes.

Preparation of Ricefield Area

The ricefield enclosed by the dikes is prepared just like an ordinary ricefield. Land preparation begins in September just before the onset of the rainy season, either by dry or wet method.

Nursery/Holding and Transition Area

These are constructed in the peripheral canal. The nursery is 10 m long, 5 m wide and 0.75 m deep. Water filling from outside is done through pumping or by traditional method. Fry stocking is done 2-3 days after water filling.

Oftentimes, prior to stocking fish in the entire sawah tambak, the milkfish and tawes fry are cultured separately in nursery/holding corner in the peripheral canal. The milkfish (stocking rate: 500/sq m) are raised here up to 45-60 days. The tawes (220/sq m) are kept at the holding place (with about 50 cm water depth) for one month before releasing them into the field.


Organic (compost, animal manure, green aquatic plants, etc.) and inorganic (urea and trisuperphosphate) fertilizers are applied The application rates are:


Rice hay


Plant leaves


Green aquatic plants


Urea is applied at the rate of 100-150 kg/ha/yr. and trisuperphosphate is 300-450 kg/ha/yr.

The total amount of urea and trisupemhosphate is each divided into three equal parts and applied thrice. As an example, the first application is a mixture of 25-50 kg/ha urea and 100-150 kg/ha trisuperphosphate.

Cultural Management and Harvesting

Combination of milk fish (Chanos chanos) and tawes or silver barb (Puntius gonlonotus) are stocked. Common carp is also added if available Stocking sizes and rate are as follows:

Stocking rate/ha




5-7 cm

5,500 -






cm 5,500 -


Culture period is 4-7 months, depending on the available standing water. In areas with deep water, culture period extends to one year. Stocking of fish can be done more than once. Harvesting is done twice or thrice. With no feeding, yield is about 2,000 - 3,500 kg/ha.


Immediately after the harvest of the dry season rice crop, dikes are raised by using a hoe, to contain water depth of 30-40 cm. The stocking size and rate vary. in West Java, common carp of size 3-5 or 5-8 cm are stocked at 5,000/ha without feeding. In North Sumatra, consumption size is produced in palawija system. The usual sizes stocked are 30-50 9 or 50-100 9 at the rate of 1,000-1,500 (no feeding); and 1,5003,000 (with supplemental feeding). Supplemental feeds are rice bran, chopped cassava, corn kernel soaked in water, poultry feed, kitchen refuse and others. Harvesting the fish is done by draining the field

Palawija ikan system


The above systems are combined into sequential cropping patterns in a year such as:

· Mlnapadl

- penyelang

- minapadi

- palawja

(rice + fish)

(fish only)

(rice + fish)

(fish only)

· Rice - penyelang - rice - palawija
· Rice - rice - palawija
· (Rice + fish-duck) - (fish-duck) - (rice + fish - duck) - (fish-duck)

In the last pattern, the ducks are allowed to roam in the ricefield 25-30 days after transplanting the rice. Ducks have potential for controlling golden snail (Panacea sp) infestation on rice. The number is 25 ducks/ha. The ducks have a small refuge pond where they are kept when necessary.

Cropping patterns

The addition of ducks in the last pattern made it the most profitable pattern. The year-round supply of eggs provides monthly income to a farmer. In the absence of ducks, the minapadl-penyelang-minapadlpalawila pattern is the most profitable.

Fish stocking and production data.







15 - 25 9

2,500 - 3,000

100 - 200



15 - 25 9

2,500 - 3,000

70 - 100

30 - 40


5 - 8 cm


200 - 300


30- 50

1,000 - 3,000

300 - 800

60 - 70

50 - 1 00



Rice-fish systems in China

Rice-fish farming, an age-old farmer practice in China, can be traced back more than 1,700 years, although recently it has been largely ignored. Integrated rice-fish farming in China is generally characterized by four basic components: (1) extensive use of land; (2) low input; (3) low yield; and, (4) household consumption of rice-fish production.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, the government organized farmers and encouraged them to develop integrated rice-fish farming systems. As a result, hectarage under rice-fish farming reached 700,000 ha in 1959, but sharply declined in the 1960s and 1970s due to the wide use of pesticides, reformation of the cropping systems and me unfavorable national economic policy during the Cultural evolution" period (1966-1976). During this period, acreage of rice-fish farming dropped from 40,000 ha to 320 ha in Guangdong Province and a similar drop from 230,000 ha to 5300 ha was documented in Hunan Province. However, during the recent "refomnation" and Opening" period, the government is again encouraging the adoption of rice-fish farming.

With farmer initiative and assistance from the government, the adoption of rice-fish farming is rapidly expanding. It has traveled from Guandong Province in the South to Hei-Long-Jiang Province in the north and has reached historical proportions with more than 1 million ha in 1986. Sichuan, Hunan, Guizhou and Fujian are the four top provinces in China.

Rice-fish systems are principally found in the hilly areas of the Yangtze river basin and other parts of Southern China, although some rice-fish can be seen in northern provinces. The traditional rice-fish systems presented here are found in both irrigated and rainfed areas. The improved designs are principally found in irrigated conditions. Most rice-fish farmers in China are cooperatives farmers" with small landholdings of 1,500 sq m or less. Nommal fish pond size is usually 1,000 sq m.

Major component technologies of rice-fish systems in China are presented here.

2 Chinese "mu" (1 mu = 0.67 ha) 1 chinese "mu"

Rice-fish farming system (Hubei China)

1. Appropriate Construction of Paddy Field

· Traditional Paddy-Field Without Trench

The traditional paddy field layout has no trench or pond in the field and the water storage capacity is limited. Fish growth is more directly effected by rice crop management and the result is a low and unstable yielding.

· Trench-Pond Integrated Rice-Fish Designs

“Trench-Pit" Design

This is an improved design with a small, shallow pit (1-2 sq m) in the center of the field. Crossing trenches are dug to connect the pit to all side trenches. Increased water storage capacity offers a better refuge for the fish. This design raises rice yield by 10% and 1-2 times as many fish can be raised as compared with the traditional design.

"Trench-Pond" Design

This design is a further improvement with a larger, deeper pond at one end of the field. Crossing trenches are also dug to connect the pond to all sides. This design significantly increases the water-storage capacity and provides a better environment for the fish. It raises and stabilizes the yield of both rice and fish.

· "Ridged-Field" Rice-Azolla-Fish Model

This design was originally developing for swampy areas with objective of improving soil properties and increasing rice yield. Later, it was step-wise integrated with azolla and fish. Rice is planted on the ridge, azolla as a feed for fish as well as a bio-fertilizer and green manure and fish are stocked in the trenches.

Azolla is a small aquatic (usually 1-5 cm large) which can grow on saturated or moist soils. It is capable of doubling its weight in 3-5 days. Azolla fixes atmospheric Nitrogen and can fix 3-7 kg N/Ha daily. It contains 4% Nitrogen on a dry-weight basis and is an excellent source of nitrogen fertilizer.


RICE (total for two crops/year)


AZOLLA(fresh weight)

862 kg/mu

50.21 kg/mu

2,010 kg/mu

12 916 kg/Ha

753 kg/Ha


2. Basal Fertilizer Application

Physical injury to fish caused by inorganic fertilizers used in rice production can be a constraint to rice-fish systems. Necessary measures should be taken to minimize fish injuries. One such measure is to increase the amount of the basal fertilizer application during the land preparation stage to approximately 80% of the total nitrogen and 100% of the total phosphorous requirement

Basal fertilizer application

3. Transplanting

Reduced rice plant population within the ridged field paddy design caused by the construction of trenches and refuge ponds is one farmer constraint to the practice of rice-fish systems. Farmers can lose as much as 10% of their paddy when constructing trenches and refuge ponds for ricefish systems. In order' to minimize reduced plant population (and potentially reducing crop yield), plant spacing can be intensified by reducing the recommended distances between hills while maintaining the row spacing (20-25 cm). Normal hill spacing of 15-20 cm between plants can be cut in half to 7.5-10 cm, thus doubling the plant population in the side-rows of the trench.

Basal Fertilizer Application

4. Fish Stocking Considerations In Rice-Fish Systems

· Grass carp, common carp, Nile tilapia and crucian carp are four predominant species for polyculture rice-fish farming in China. One such system involves four species: grass carp (Cyen opharyngodon idellus), Tilapia sp., common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and crucian carp (carassius aurotus), with the first two species making up the majority. The recommended mix is a 25-45% composition of both the grass carp and tilapia (a total combined composition of 70%) with a 15% mix of both common and crucian carp (remaining 30%) at stocking rate of 2-3 sq m. This mix of species can give an optimal yield of both rice and fish.

Fish stocking

· When stocking fingerlings in the pond or paddy, a large difference in water temperature between the container used to transport the fish and the paddy can lead to fish loss and a poor survival rate. Therefore, it's recommendable to mix water from the paddy with the water in the container to slowly regulate the temperature differences and allow the fish to adjust to the water temperature of the field.

Large difference in water temperature between the container used to transport the fish and the paddy can lead to fish loss and a poor survival rate.

5. Top dressing Fertilizer Application

Top-dressing fertilizer is applied at the panicle differentiation stage (about 28-30 days to heading). A shallow layer of standing water in the paddy is necessary for fertilizer application, but can increase the possibilities of injuring the fish. However, two alternatives exist which can help to minimize these limitations.

Fishes in trench: Fertilizeren

· Slowly drain the water from the paddy allowing the fingerlings to return to the refuge trench/pond. As the water in the ridges almost dries, the top-dressing (broadcast) can be applied, thus controlling injury to the fish as well as achieving fertilizer efficiency. Two to four days after the fertilizer is applied, the field is again flooded. To irrigate and to open the water layer in field before top-dressing.

Fertilizer application can be done by deep placement by hand or by using machinery. The fertilizer should be applied at a depth of 810 cm. Fertilizer efficiency and reduced risk

Fertilizer application to fish health are also attained. (Note: The paddy should also be drained for using the deep-placement method.)

6. Pest Management

· Weeds

Stocking fry in newly transplanted rice field

Stocking fingerlings in established rice paddy

Many weed varieties found in the rice paddy are good feeds for grass carp. Stocking fry at 2-3 pieces/sq m (2-3 cm long) fingerlings at 2-3 pieces/10 sq m or (-10 cm long) one month after transplanting can help to control weeds, thus, reducing the need for other weed-control techniques. As the fingerlings grow, daily supplemental feeding with green grasses is necessary to avoid damage to the young rice plants by the fish. Grass is usually fed to the fish in the pond to avoid damage to the rice plants; while rice bran and other supplemental feeds can be directly fed to the fish in the paddy area.

Fish in the paddy area.

· Insects and Diseases

Fish eat insects, such as stem borer and leaffolder which move through the water among the rice plants and hoppers which catch them as the float on the water from the riceplant. Fish reduces need for pesticide. Fish also eat the pathogens (such as sheath blight disease) floating in water and on the bottom as well as disease infected leaves, therefore, not only reducing the pathogens but also improving plant's health. Thus, the use of fungicides can also be reduced. If pesticides must be applied, certain precautions should be taken. In traditional fields, the field should be flooded with more water.

Insects and diseases

Pesticide Application

Similar to fertilizer application, damage to fish health can be incurred with the application of pesticides to the rice crop. However, using simple techniques such as slow field drainage, allowing the fish to return to the trench/pond, cautious application of the pesticide, an allowance for a brief waiting period and re-irrigation of the field after application can help to ensure minimal losses due to pesticide poisoning.

In fields with trench/pond designs, the water should be drained into the trench or pond, thus driving the fish into the refuge area before the application of pesticides.

In traditional paddy field design, fish can be driven to one half of the field and pesticide application can be done in the other half of the field. The same procedure can be repeated to the other half of the field on the following day.

Prepared by: GUO YIXIAN


Rice-fish system in Guimba, Hueva Ecija, Philippines

Guimba, Nueva Ecija, in the Philippines has rainfed and irrigated rice-based agriculture. In rainfed areas, rice is grown during the wet season and remains fallow during the rest of the year. In irrigated condition, rice grown during the wet season is followed by another crop of rice during the dry season. Ricefish culture is practiced by some farmers. In areas with extremely light soils, farmers plant vegetables (e.g., squash, cucumber, mungbean, stringbeans, onions, bitter gourd, etc.) and water melon after wet season rice.

The rice-fish system practiced by farmers in Triala Village, Guimba is concurrent rice-fish with pond refuge. This system is for growout of Nile tilapia. The operation is done as follows:


Rice-fish field

1. Site Selection

· Abundant and dependable water supply. Irrigation water, ground water, spring and other water sources are used when they are not contaminated by pesticides.

· Clay soil is best. Clay holds water, prevents seepage and leaching of fertilizers.

· Choose site with good drainage and is free from flooding.

2. Design and Size of Field

· Independent filling and draining of each rice-fish compartment is considered.

· Ease of fish movement into the rice fields during grazing and draining is also considered. Fishes should be able to get quickly into the canals or refuge when water level is very low.

· Size of rice-fish plot considers the natural partitions of the field. Small plots are easy to manage and fish survival is usually high.

Examples of fish REFUGE LA layout for small and large plots

· Dikes are made strong and big enough to contain 30 cm. of water

3. Fish Refuge

Pond refuge is preferred over trench refuge. It holds more water and is less risky. Refuge size is usually 10% of the ricefield area. Bigger refuge or a pond adjacent to the ricefield may also be connected to it through a canal.

To construct the refuge, the pond is excavated at one end, or two ends if the field is large, inside the ricefield or adjacent/alongside but connected to the field so that the fish can have access to the area planted to rice.

4. Inlet and Outlet Gates and Screens

These are made of bamboo and other low-cost materials. Screens prevent the escape of stocked fish or entry of unwanted fish into the field.


1. Rice varieties—High-yielding varieties; maturity period of 120-130 days; resistant to insects and diseases.

2. Seedbed preparation and seeding rate—




100-150 kg /ha


broadcast urea at 25 kg/ha. 10-15 days after sowing.

3. Land preparation - After plowing once and harrowing thrice, the field is levelled evenly so that every part of it will be uniformly irrigated.

4. Rice transplanting methods -

Age of seedlings:

25-30 days

Planting distance:

20-25 cm between rows

15-20 cm between hills

Straight-row planting (optional), if mechanical weeding is done.

5. Weed control—Fish stocked in ricefields control certain weeds. Weeds are also controlled through:

· thorough land preparation
· flooding the field at an effective water depth for one to two weeks immediately after transplanting.
· manual weeding

6. Water management—Water depth in the field when rice is newly transplanted is 3 - 5 cm. This is then gradually increased up to 20 cm. to provide better living space for both rice and fish as they grow bigger. One week before the rice harvest, water is slowly drained so that fishes have enough time to move into the refuge.

Water management A


Water management B

Water management C

7. Fertilizer application—The amount of fertilizer applied follows the recommended rate in the area. In Guimba, the rate applied during wet season is 200 kg/ha of ammonium phosphate and 50 kg/ha of urea for the first or basal application. The basal application is done immediately after the final leveling, (which is followed by transplanting). The rate for the second application or topdressing is 50 kg/ha. This is applied 30 days after transplanting. The amount for top dressing may be split into two equal applications Thus a third application is applied 75 days after transplanting.

During dry season, the same amount for basal application is followed. For topdressing, the rate is 100 kg/ha.

As an example, the amount of fertilizer for a 400 sq m of rice-fish during wet season is: 8 kg ammonium phosphate and 2 kg urea for basal application. For topdressing, 2 kg urea is needed.

8. Insect control—The use of insecticide is not recommended. The farmers, however, apply insecticides known to be less toxic to fish.


Colocasia sp., an aquatic plant, is an excellent food material. It can be grown as an added commodity in a rice-fish farm. Practically, all parts of the plant can be eaten (tubers, stalks and leaves). It can also be utilized as food for the fish and for animals, especially pigs. The cultural requirement is simple and it requires no expensive inputs.

Colocasia planting


1. Obtain young tubers as plant materials.
2. Cut old leaves but retain the young leaves and shoot.
3. Cut the tuber into half

Cut the tuber into half

4. Plant the tuber at 50-70 cm intervals along the side of the dike, about 5-10 cm below the water surface.

5. Start harvesting after 4-5 months.


The species cultured are Nile tilapia (Orechromis niloticus) and common carp (Cyprlnus carpio). Large fingerlings, 15-25 9, are recommended as they reach harvestable size within one rice crop. It only small fingerlings (5-109) are available, fish culture is done in two stages:

Stage I: Raising 5-10 9. fingerlings during one rice cropping (harvest size: mostly 50 9.)
Stage II Extending fish culture period after rice harvest for up to 2 months (harvest size: 50 9.)

Fish Stocking density

· Stocking can be done before or during land preparation in the pond refuge; or 7-10 days after transplanting (DAT), if released direct to the field. If stocked in the pond refuge animal manure should be applied into the refuge 4-5 days before fish stocking. About 15 kg may be applied in a 100 sq m pond refuge.

The stocking rate for Stage I, using either monoculture of Nile tilapia or polyculture of Nile tilapia and common carp is 5,000- 7,500 fish/ha. For polyculture, the stocking ratio of Nile tilapia to common carp is 1:1 or 2:2, depending on which species is more important to farmers.

· Ten days after transplanting, fish stocked in the pond refuge may be released to the field by making openings in the dividing dike. Fish will graze on the natural food available in the ricefield.

Supplemental feeding

· Recommended at the middle culture period or rice (45-50 DAT). During this period, production of natural food in the field water declines due to shading of rice leaves.

· Feeds: rice bran, kitchen refuse, ipil-ipil meal, etc. Animal manure may also be applied in the pond refuge.

· Feeding rate: 3-5% of fish biomass


· Harvest fish by draining the water very slowly one week before rice harvest to avoid trapping the fish in the middle of the field.

· Select large fish for consumption or disposal and confine the small fish (50 g.) for stage 11 culture.

· After removing the harvested rice from the field, it is immediately reflooded to about 30 cm deep and the small fishes in the refuge are released to allow them to grow for another 60 days before the dry season crop.

Timetable for rice-fish culture




Prepare and fertilize seedbed.


Soak seeds (IR-36, 42, 52, 54, 64 and 74 as examples).


Broadcast germinated seeds in seedbed.


Prepare ricefield:

Start of fish culture (STAGE I):
Stock fish (Nile tilapia, 5-10 g in size) at 5,000- 7,500/ha. Insure water supply infields.


Pull seedlings. Apply basal fertilizer. Use the kinds and rates of fertilizer recommended for the locality based on soil analysis.


Transplant seedlings (wet bed method).


Second application of fertilizer (top dressing). May split the amount into two applications hence the third application.


Third application of fertilizer (top dressing)


Drain water and harvest large/marketable fish.


Harvest rice.


Start of fish culture (STAGE Il): Prolong fish culture period after rice harvest for small-sized fish (30-40 9) stocked at 3,000-5,000/ha.


Harvest second batch of fish.

Time for rice-fish culture


1. Fish can contribute to increased rice yield by 1 10-15%, through:

· Controlling certain weeds and eating insects such as stemborer, brownplant hopper

· Fish wastes including uneaten feeds add fertility to the soil.

· Helps in increasing availability of nutrient for increased floodwater productivity and uptake by rice.

· Reduces loss of ammonia through volatilization by preventing floodwater pH rise over 8.5. During fertilizer application increased plankton production tends to raise the value of pH beyond 8.5; the value at which ionized ammonia converts into unionized form that is easily lost.

2. The increased size of dikes in the system offers opportunity to plant other crops such as faro (colocasia sp.), stringbeans, cowpea, wingbeans, eggplant and others.

3. The wide scale adoption of rice-fish is still constrained by continued application of pesticide in ricebased farming. The use of pesticide is not recommended in rice-fish farming. There are ways of controlling rice pests that do not need pesticide, such as:

· Quick submergence (for three hours) of rice plants in water. This makes the insects vulnerable to fish predation. Limitation: suitable while rice plants are shorter than the dike.

· Two persons can drag a stretched rope (50-100m) across the ricefields to knock off the insects into the floodwater, after which they can be eaten by the fish. Limitation: suitable before rice plants reach panicle initiation stage.

However, should a farmer insist on using pesticide, here are ways how to do it:

Considerations in applying pesticides:

(1) Choose and apply properly pesticides that have low toxicity to fish.
(2) Minimize the amount of pesticide getting mixed with water.
(3) Apply at suitable time.

Preventing fish poisoning:

- Drive the fish into the refuge by draining the field before spraying. Keep the fish in the sump until the toxicity in the sprayed field is gone.

- Increase water depth (+ 10 cm.) to dilute the concentration of pesticide in the water.

- Flush water through the ricefield. Open the inlet and outlet of the field and allow irrigation water to flow freely, during spraying. Begin spraying from the outlet end of the field. When one-half of the field is already sprayed, stop for a while and allow the pesticides to flow out of the field. Then, continue spraying towards the inlet end of the field until it is finished.

To do items (2) and (3), examples are: apply powder pesticides in the morning when dew drops are still on the leaves; and to apply liquid pesticides in the afternoon when leaves are dry.

There are a number of less toxic pesticides in the market (Examples are Parapest, Sumithlon, Dipterex). Proper application of a toxic insecticide like Furadan 3G or Curaterr 3G can be made safe to fish if applied through soil incorporation during the final harrowing. Furadan 3G is a systemic insecticide, the efficiency of which in controlling insect pests lasts about 50-55 days. Incidence of pests at this period can be controlled by spraying liquid pesticides. At this time, the rice plants have reached their full vegetative stage and the thick leaves will intercept most of the liquid sprays, thus drastically reducing the concentration of pesticide reaching into the water.

Annual budget for a 1-ha rice-fish farm with pond refuge.


Amount (US$)

I. Returns


Rice-Fish + Taro

Rice (2 crops)



Fish (2 crops)



Taro (2 crops)


Total Returns



II. Costs













Taro tubers









Fuel and oil






Others (screens, bundling materials, etc.)



Total costs



III. Net Returns



The case of rice-fish farmer mang isko,dasmarinas, cavite, the Philippines


Mang Isko is a 66 year-old farmer. Together with his wife, who is 60, they have eight children most of whom are grown up and living away from home. The only son is married and living with his wife and children near the farm of Mang Isko. This son helps Mang Isko in the day-to-day management of the farm. Two daughters are attending high school and still live at home. Two older daughters are living and working abroad in Japan. They send remittances home on a regular basis (P4,000/month) to support the education of their younger sisters.


Mang isko's farm transect (lowland farm) dasmarinas. Cavite Philippines

Mang Isko farms 2.3 ha of lowland with access to irrigation water from the National Irrigation Administration distribution system. Two rice crops are grown in 1.44 ha. Half a hectare is devoted to ricefish culture. In some years, gourd are planted on the rice-fish dikes after the second rice harvest. Other vegetables occupy 0.14 ha of the term where bittergourds are planted in the dry season and relayed with stringbeans in the wet season. The remaining 0.2 ha houses 1 pig in a 15 x 12 m shed and the rest of the area are grown to fruit and fodder trees and grasses.


The 0.5-ha rice-fish system is composed of eight individual fields with side trenches. Two rice-fish plots have adjacent pond refuges in addition to the trenches. One rice-fish plot has an adjacent pond which is managed as a breeding pond. Mang Isko practices rice-fish culture in both wet and dry seasons and harvests two crops of rice and fish in a single year. However, when he plants gourd on the rice-fish dikes after the second rice-fish crop, he does not have a dry season rice-fish activity. In such occasions, the fields drained and the fish are are for for in the pond refuges.

Maag isko's on-farm material flows Dasmarinas, Cavite Phillppines

Combining fish with rice has doubled Mang Isko's rice yields in some cropping seasons. He attributes the increase in yield to these factors:

· Rice plants uprooted when digging the trenches are used to patch up vacant spaces in the ricefield where transplanted rice have not grown.

· The beneficial effect of fish on rice growth is manifested in the increased tillering of rice plants and the uprooting of young weeds when the fish (carp) stir up the bottom of the field in their search for food.

· The introduction of fish has meant that Mang Isko spends more time in his farm. Thus, he can spot and remedy problems immediately. In his own words, he has become " a better farm manager "

· Fish eat rice pests, thus rice yields are less threatened by pest damage.


1. Land Preparatlon, C onstruction and Malotenance

· Dike construction is labor demanding. According to Mang Isko, it has been the biggest obstacle to the rice-fish adoption. Large dikes are required to avoid dike collapse and minimize water seepage and overflow. The dikes must be cleaned and weeded regularly to prevent damage by rodents.

· The trenches are dug one month after rice transplanting. The dug-out mud is placed on the dikes for maintenance and is the source of fertile soil for the subsequent cultivation of gourd. Also, at this stage, the dug-out soils are more compact as they have been soaked with water and this makes dike construction easier.



White squash in dry season rice-fish field

· Mang Isko uses one of the eight rice-fish fields with the highest elevation, as a test-field for monitoring water quality that comes in from the irrigation canal. This is to ensure that contaminated water due to pesticide applications of neighboring farms do not get into his rice-fish fields. The irrigation water is let through this field first and any adverse effect on the fish is observed. The field is only lightly stocked (50 fish per 800 m).

2. Rice Transplanting and Management

· Rice is transplanted 10-12 days after sowing in seedbed.

· Around one month after transplanting, three rows of rice, occupying about 60 cm, are removed for the purpose of trench construction. The uprooted rice plants are used to replace transplanted rice that have not grown.

· According to Mang Isko, IR 64/74/42 varieties are not suitable for rice-fish as they easily lodge.

· He will try to use an early-maturing rice variety for the dry season to avoid any critical water shortage. At present, he uses a 90-day maturing variety for both seasons.

3. Fish Stocking and Management

· Mang Isko keeps a separate breeding pond. The advantage of having a breeding pond is that fingerling supply is ensured. Moreover, he could stock larger-sized fingerlings which can be harvested as tablesized fish immediately before rice harvest. However, without proper broodstock management, he had an inbred population after three years as reflected by stunted fish growth. After five years he did not keep any brondstock.

· Fingerlings are stocked in the pond refuges immediately after rice transplanting. After one week, the dikes connecting the pond refuge and the rice-fisy plots are broken to let the fish in the rice-fish plots. (Stocking density: 1 tilapia/m and 1 carp/5 m)

· The fingerlings/fish are graded into four classes when transferred from the breeding pond to refuge ponds and rice-fish fields. Class I = < 25 pieces/kg; Class II = 35 pieces/kg, Class III = 40 pieces/kg; and Class IV = > 50 pieces/kg. This is done in order to avoid cannibalism and competition that would otherwise lead to large fish stunting the growth of small ones.

· One week after trench is constructed, the trench is filled with water and fish are stocked.

4. Fertilizing and Feeding

· Rice straws from the previous crop are burnt and the ashes are returned to the fields for liming.

· Pig manure is thrown directly into the ponds or left by the water inlet to let the water carry/wash K into the rice-fish fields.

· Fish feed on fallen rice flowers. Mang Isko believes that this has a purifying effect which counteracts the perceived off-flavor taste of tilapia due to the presence of pig manure in the system.

· Rice bran is given one week after stocking in refuge ponds and trenches until two weeks before fish harvest. This is done twice a week or when required as may be signalled by the inactive behavior of fish or its stunted growth.

· Three weeks after transplanting, 100 kg of urea and 50 kg of complete fertilizer are applied to the ricefields.

5. Pest and Disease Management

· Carps eat hatched golden snail eggs dropping into the water; tilapias feed on insects.

· Mang Isko submerges the rice crop for three hours when insects become a problem. The fish then have access to feed directly on insects on the plants as well as insects trapped on the water surface. This practice is only carried out when the rice is 1-2 months old.

· Mang Isko reports that a neighbour of his uses Gliricidia (kskawate) as an insect repellent. In his first year of rice-fish, he placed Gliricidia branches of approximately 1 m length at 2 m intervals around the edge of the field at the booting stage of the rice, i.e., seven weeks after transplanting. He has now planted Gliricidia trees around the field as a means of biological pest control.

· When constructing the dikes, a layer of plastic is placed inside each dike. Rats find it slippery and difficult to penetrate the dikes with plastic lining.

6. Harvesting

· The fish are harvested by draining the field three days before rice harvest. The water level in the refuge is lowered to a couple of inches and the fish are caught by hand.

· Table-sized fish are sold. Fingerlings are kept for the next crop. Fish sizes that are in-between are returned to the pond refuge for further growout. They are sold or consumed at home as demanded. This is a source of continuous income from fish.

Mang isko's calendar of farm activities Dasmarinas, Cavite, Philippines (A)

Mang isko's calendar of farm activities Dasmarinas, Cavite, Philippines (B)


Initial cash costs for vegetable growing were incurred in the first months of operation.

The cash requirements for rice monoculture and rice-fish culture were more spread over the months.

Unscheduled fish harvests in between two total harvests are a source of continuous income or cash inflows that help relieve cash constraints in certain months.

Mang isko's monthly cash flows of all farm operations.

· There were five months in the year where the cash obtained from the sales of rice, fish and vegetables were greater than the cash spent on farm operations.

· The months in between rice and fish harvests were the months that cash deficit was greatest.

· Although there were sales received from vegetables before the rice and fish harvests, there were not enough to cover the large expenditures on inputs particularly inorganic fertilizers.


As a whole, farming for Mang Isko was profitable. At the end of the year, he earned P45,233.80. He used this money primarily to sustain his wife and two children. A part of this was spent on upgrading his living condition, that is. he was able to improve his house and was able to purchase a refrigerator and a television.




Site selection: where to culture fish with rice'

1. Does the family have a particular area in mind? Whatever the answer, try to visit either the specific plot or the general area with one or more family members.

Site selection

2. If the family already has an area in mind, ask what they like about the area and take these into account in considering the following points.

3. Water (most important)

The field must hold water continuously for several months; the longer, the better, from the point of view of the fish. For best results, the field should be covered to a depth of about 30 cm, but if some areas are shallower or deeper than this, there is no serious problem.

Does the farmer think he can achieve this? The higher-lying the field, the less water it is likely to catch. However, dikes and field boundaries must be above maximum flood level. The lower-lying the field, the more flood-prone it becomes. At what level does the farmer feel sure he can control flooding?

Water (A)

Water (B)

4. Clay will hold water better than sand. Where does the farmer feel water will stand longest?

If the field must be placed on a sandy area, generous manuring throughout the season will improve its waterholding capacity. How much manure can the farmer add?

Form a compact ball from a handful of soil and drop it half a meter to your other hand. If the ball does not break, the soil holds water well. Successful culture is possible in poor soils, but faces more limitations.

5. How close to the farmer's house or "working shelter" can the field be placed? This makes checking the ricefield and feeding the fish less time-consuming. It also helps to discourage thieves.

6. Preparing the ricefield for fish culture is a lot of work. How can the farmer take advantage of existing conditions on his land to save manpower? Some examples are given below:

· A small knoll or termite nest can help provide part of the boundary for the field. This will reduce the length of the dike needed around the field.

· If the land slopes, a high dike on the uphill side at the field is usually not needed. The lay of the land will help confine the fish.

· Does the farmer have a pond within the richfield already? If he can include the pond in his system, he may no longer need to dig a trench or pond.

· If the ricefield is basin-shaped, this can rave a lot of work. The middle of the field is the deepest point and little effort should be needed to raise dikes.

7. Is there any chance poisonous chemicals (industrial wastes, pesticides, etc.) will run into the field? Try to make sure this doesn't happen, since these poisons may kill all the fish.

8. The earlier a field is transplanted, the sooner it will be ready for fish. This means the fish may have a longer growing period.

9. The farmer may want to integrate his fish culture operation with his livestock, vegetable garden or other operations. In such a case, the site he selects may not be best for fish, but may be good for the whole operation.

10. Can the placement of the pond cause neighboring fields any problem?

The placement of the pond cause neighboring fields any problem

11. Any other considerations? Ask the farmer!

Prepared by:JOHN SOLLOWS


Preparation of field for Rich - fish culture

Good preparation is very important in order to succeed in rice-fish culture. Every farmer must be able to:

hold enough water over a large enough area for enough time to produce enough fish; and, prevent serious flooding of the dikes and other boundaries of his rice field.

Having a satisfactory water situation in the field is a key factor in the technology; this cannot be achieved if preparation is poor. In field preparation, there are four main things to consider: field size and shape, dikes refuges and drains.

Field size and shape

1. How much land does the farmer own? If the farmer does not own the land and the landlord is agreeable, how big an area does the landlord want to try?

Field size and shape

2. Topography and slope will greatly affect field size and shape. It may be possible to construct a large square field on very flat land, but not quite so in sloping areas.

3. What area does the farmer think is suitable? This can limit field size and affect field shape. (See concept sheet on Site Selection.)

4. How large an area does the family feel comfortable with trying out (especially for beginners)?

5. How large an area does the family think it can prepare and manage? (What does "manage" mean?) See concept sheet on Feeding and Maintenance.

Some people say that a square field of 0.5 - 1 ha is the best size for rice-fish culture. However, operations larger or smaller than this "ideal" size can also be very successful. Good preparation and good management are the keys to success, whatever the size.


All dikes must be built safely higher than maximum flood levels. During construction, the dike should be raised high enough to allow for compaction and erosion.

In raising the dikes, an excavation usually results. This may as well occur inside the field, all other factors being equal. This way, a small pond or trench is formed, which serves as a refuge for the fish.


A - Existing ricefield

B - Small dike between field and pond/trench; optional but useful if fish are stocked in the pond/trench before rice is transplanted.

C - Side of pond/trench. Slope should depend on nature of soil: more gentle in sand, can be steeper in clay.

D - Level of water in pond/trench prior to transplanting.

E - "Lip" of existing field between pond/trench and dike, to prevent eroded material from filling the dike; usually 0.5-1 m wide.

F - Side of dike. Slope depends on nature of soil (gentle in sand). Top soil and grass planted on outside will reduce erosion.

G - Maximum flood level. Point G Is most Important. The dikes cannot be submerged by flood water.

H - Plants/trees grown on top of dike

I - Keep excavated topsoil and sods for the outside of the dike. Compact the soil during construction, as possible.


A refuge is a pond, trench or low point in the rice-fish field. When the rest of the field is dry, fish can be held here. Under some conditions (See Fry Nursing In Rice-Flsh Systems.), refuge may be stocked before rice is transplanted.

Having a refuge is usually advisable and may be necessary for success. Without it, fish have to be harvested before the field dries out or moved to a pond in a flooded area. A refuge of at least 50 cm depth is desirable. If the farmer wants to hold fish ail year around, it will probably have to be much deeper than this.

In some well-irrigated areas, a refuge may not be necessary. Some farmers find that digging a refuge increases water loss. This can happen in cases where poor soil (like sand) is covered by the top soil, which seals water in. Digging breaks this seal; it will re-form but this will take time. Manuring speeds up the process.


A refuge, when dug, is usually made at the lowest part of the field so that water and fish can easily collect there.

Some other factors governing size and arrangement of refuges:

1. How much rice-growing area is the family willing to sacrifice for the refuge? This may depend on their total rice growing area or on the relative importance they give to rice and fish.

2. How much money or time and labor can the family invest? As with field size, this can be an important limit.

3. What kind of soil is involved? A narrow trench (say 1 m wide x 1 m deep) will fill in quickly in sandy soil, but may last well in clay. The refuge in sandy soil should be three or more times wider than its depth.

4. Topography will affect trench or pond configuration. Extensive peripheral trenches on sloping areas will occupy too much area since such a field will be narrow.

Consider these two fields, each of 16 sq m area:

Fields examples

The narrow field has the greater perimeter to area ratio.

Some Sample Refuge Layouts with Comments


Easy access for fish. Carrying excavated soil to dike can take time.

Easy access for fish. Best for large fields on very flat land. Can be expensive to build. Difficult entry for buffaloes.

Widely applicable on flat or sloping land, especially for plots of less than 0.5 ha (but can work for larger plots, too.)

When trench is on low side of field on sloping land with porous soil, seepage can be a serious problem. Digging trench below ground level (rather than merely damming at ground level) and manuring can help. So can excavating the trench on the uphill side of the plot and sloping the plot toward the trench. This, however, can take a lot of work

Sample refuge

A common set-up in rainfed Thai systems. Small pond for refuge, in a system consisting of many plots on gently sloping land. Pond is usually at or near lowest par! of field. Height of enclosing dike decreases as we go uphill. This can help water catchment. Accommodates small - scale environmental variation, with little work. Farmers should be careful fish have access to ponds when water is low

Narrow she low trenches connected! to refuges can be very helpful to fish trying to reach the refuges. One or two rows of rice may have to be scarified


Usually, the field will need a drain so that excess water can be removed rapidly without eroding the dike. Inflow and outflow drains are advisable, the latter particularly so. Drains should be screened to prevent fish escape.

What material?

A bamboo, hollow log or pipe can be used, depending on availability. A screen should be placed at the point where the water enters. The screen can be a piece of fine netting or a flat piece of metal full of nail holes. A little gravel scattered under the pipe will reduce dike erosion.

A bamboo

Such a drain is best for small fields (less than 1000 sq m) with limited flow (especially fields used to nurse hatchlings or small fry). Screens need to be checked every few hours for clogging any time water rises to pipe level and this can be a nuisance.

Such a drain

In most fields, the drain consists of a simple breach in the dike. This is screened by thin splints of bamboo or similar material, bound or nailed together.

Fammers in the rainier parts of Northeast Thailand often use a "li". This is usually a bamboo chute, set at a breach in the dike at the lowest part of the rice field.

Bamboo chute “li”

The li slopes up slightly and narrows. Below the narrow end, a jug-shaped basket or net bag is set. Hence, water nins out along the length at the li but ultimately fale into a bag or basket which holds any fish washed out of the field. These can be eater,, sold or returned to the field for further growth.

A bag or basket which holds any fish washed

Some farmers use a simpler version, by setting a net bag supported by sticks next to the outlet drain.

Outflow drain level

What depth of water is best for the rice in the field? What is the greatest depth it will tolerate? Set the drain in the dike somewhere between these two levels.

What drain capacity?

A small pipe does not drain a large field effectively. The farmer will have to make a guess as to how wide the drain should be, based on experience. It is better to have the drain a little too wide than too narrow.

Prepared by: JOHN SOLLOWS


Stocking for rice-fish culture

The following guidelines apply in any case where seed fish are transported and stocked:

· Transport and stocking are best done early in the morning or failing this, late in the day when temperatures are lower.

· Fish, once purchased, should be transported promptly and kept out of direct sunlight.

· They should not be shaken up, or unduly disturbed.

· On arrival at the pond or ricefield, bags should be set in the water (where the fish will be released) for several minutes until temperatures become the same in and outside the bags.

· Bags should only then be opened and fish should be immediately allowed to swim into their new home of their own accord.

Transport and stocking are best done early in the morning


The earlier in the season that fish can be stocked, the longer the growing period. Also, the earlier in the rainy season, the fewer the predators.

On the other hand, fish cannot be stocked before there is water available and the farmer should be reasonably sure that the field will hold water for several months before he stocks. Rice should also be well established with 2-3 tillers out before fingerlings or large fish are allowed into the field.

Finally, the farmer may be ready to stock, but seed fish may not be available. Therefore, the family may have to wait until fish can be found.


There is no best" formula here. Large fish are more expensive than small ones, but are better able to escape peration. Species can differ in price. Many fish cost more than few; the family's budget, then, can affect what is stocked.

Stocking rates

For beginning farmers, and for those who cannot feed their fish, stocking not more than 300 (5 cm) fish per 1000 sq m is suggested. A species ratio that commonly works in Thailand is common carp (Cyprlus carplo), silver barb (Puntius gonlonotus) and tilapia (Oreochromis alloticus).

This formula will not be appropriate in every case, but is as good a point of beginning as any. In general, H is better to culture two or more species than only one, sine-e different kinds of fish eat different foods. This means total catch should be higher than if only one species is raised. The formula given can be modified for many reasons:

1 Availability: A farmer may want a certain A combination of species and sizes but still have to be content with what she can find on the market.

Combination of species

2. Preference: Each family will have different species preferences, usually for valid reasons. These should be accepted. Similarly, many farmers prefer large seed because of their higher survival or greater final size. Others prefer small seed—despite probable higher mortalities — because of lower prices and higher continuity of harvesting; specific prices will affect the economics here. The family with limited budget must often decide between buying a few large fish or many small ones.

3. Species-specific biology

Fish species have differing advantages and disadvantages: Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus tolerates environmental extremes very well and reproduces easily. The farmers who can keep a few fish all year around need not worry about restocking every year. However, reproduction can lead to overcrowding and poor growth. Some farmers do not like the taste, find it ferments poorly and complain that it competes with or drives away other desirable species.

Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) tolerates poor water quality and shows excellent growth in most rice fields. Poor survival, probably due to high susceptibility to predation.

Sliver barb (Puntius gonlonotus) usually has excellent survival in rice fields: even fry tend to show good recovery. it is less tolerant of poor water quality than the other two species above and does not grow well in very shallow water or water of highly unstable depth.

Various wild species, notably snakehead (Channa sp.) and walking catfish (C/arias sp.) are very palatable.

The snakeskin gouraml (Trichogaster pectoralls) has shown very promising results in a few rainfed ricefields. Broodfish, not seed, should be stocked. More work should be done on this species under rainfed conditions.

Chinese and Indian major carp usually show poor growth in rainfed fields. in deeper water (50 cm or higher), they appear to do better. They should be stocked at low rates, no more than 200/ha.

6. Since this is a subsistence activity, to a large extent, there is little competition on the market armory producers.

7. Rice yields are usually enhanced, although there is great variation from farm to farm. Yields are very rarely adversely affected when the farmer manages the system well.

8. The fact that this technology can modestly Improve the lives of many poor rice farmers should make it of interest to development workers.

Prepared by: JOHN SOLLOWS


Feeding and maintenance in rice-fish system


Daily check the water level in the field to see that it is not rising or falling unusually quickly. If this occurs, find out what is causing it. Any leaks should be unclogged. A shovel or hoe should be carried on these visits. Some farmers throw a little feed every day in order to monitor their fish stocks. In intensive systems, early morning checks to see if fish are gaping is advisable.

Maintenance check


Feeding and fertilizing should normally help fish grow. However, it is not a major consideration in lightly-stocked fields (below 3000/ha), where fish should be able to forage sufficiently for themselves.

Families who would like to stock more heavily (and therefore to feed and fertilize) need to consider the following points: a) Will they have time to feed or fertilize well? (How far away is the field from their house? What other work do they have to do?) b) Can they get-feed or fertilizer? Is it easily available in the area? Is it affordable?

Feeding and fertilizing


It is difficult to draw a line between "feed" and "fertilizer," especially since manure can be used as both. Inorganic fertilizers can be used. So can any non-toxic organic material.

Manure is often the most important addition, by weight. Either fresh or dried manure can be used. A little caution with fresh manure may be needed if water is stagnant, but it has been observed that up to 300 kg/ha per week go into such systems without causing harm. Replenishing manure as the fish consume it is another way to cope.

Rice bran is commonly used as a fish feed. It works well in nurseries, but is usually not needed in extensive rice-fish culture. If farmers have to pay for it, they probably should not use much, once fish have entered the field.

Some farmers use rice hulls in their systems and some fish species eat these eagerly. Most of the hull is not digested, but gets spread around the field by the fish.

Kitchen wastes and leftovers of any kind can be given.

Different kinds of water plants work well: Azolla, Wolffia, duckweed (Lemna), pak boong or kangkong (Ipomaea aquatica) and water mimosa are examples. Different fish species will have different preferences but silver barb will eat any of these.

Crop by-products are also acceptable: cabbage leaves and corn cobs have been used by some farmers. Cassava leaves are also popular. Since some-cassava varieties may be poisonous, it is advisable to dry cassava leaves before feeding them to fish.

Termites are a very nutritious feed and are especially helpful in nurseries. Nests are chipped over the pond or field and the termites fall into the water, where they are rapidly consumed. Termites are usually not needed once fish have entered the rice field; if farmers continue to use them heavily throughout the season, they may run out of nests! Other insects, shrimps and worms are similarly nutritious.

Rice straw is not usually eaten directly by fish, but feeds small plants and animals on which fish feed. It can be used anywhere, but may be especially helpful in turbid nursery ponds.

Any otherwise unused dead animals, entrails or body parts can be put to use. In rice fields, they can go directly into the water for fish consumption. In nursery ponds, large, decaying animals can contaminate the pond. Some farmers suspend animal parts over the pond. These attract flies, which lay eggs on the meat; maggots can then be knocked off the meat into the water to feed the fish.


Jute or kenaf resting can make water temporarily unsuitable for fish culture. The water turns black, oxygen levels drop to near zero and the water smells bad. The resting is very effective, however, in clearing up turbid water. After the resting is finished, pond water quality is often improved. Also, small amounts of jute or kenaf will not harm fish and the rotting material provides feed. Larger amounts can be placed in stagnant water. Good figures for "safe" rates for fish, unfortunately, are not available, so only small amounts should be used and the fish should be checked every morning to see if they are gaping.

Other examples of feeds include mulberry leaves, banana leaves, bat dung, animal feed leftovers, coconut oil residues, Leucaena leaves and livestock dung. No list of potential feed stuffs will be complete.


In densely-stocked fields (over 5000/ha), continuous feeding and fertilizing become important, particularly as the fish grow. Giving small amounts of feed a couple of times a day may be advisable. Check to see how quickly a known amount of vegetation or manure gets consumed. If some amount remain after an hour, there is no need to increase the rate. If it disappears within half an hour, increasing the amount is advisable.

Prepared by: JOHN SOLLOWS


The presence of important numbers of predators can affect size and species stocked. Large fish escape predators easily, but this appears a less important consideration for silver barb than for other cultured species.

Culture field characteristics will often affect number and species stocked. Occasionally, silver barb will not grow well in field with very shallow water (less than 10 cm). In small fields, the farmer may find the advisable number of fish limited by available area. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with stocking few fish in a very large field, especially if this is all the farmer can afford.

.The suggested rate of 3,000/ha can be increased if the field has stable water depth (30 cm or more is preferable) and if the field can be fertilized frequently. If fish are fed, the feed should be put in the field, not in the refuge. Otherwise, they will stay in the refuge, the rice will not benefit and the fish will become overcrowded. Farmers should be very cautious about stocking over 6,000/ha. This can work occasionally, but should be done only by experienced farmers who know their system.

Small fry can be stocked in greater numbers than large fingerlings.

Note: This paper refers to stocking fry and fingerlings, not hatchlings.

If stocking density is low, there is often sufficient natural food in the paddy and no feeding is necessary.

If stocking density is increased, natural food in the paddy is not enough and production is low.

If stocking density is increased, maximum production can still be obtained with supplementary feeding.

Prepared by: JOHN SOLLOWS


Rice management in rice-fish culture

Rice-fish culture can be carried out under rainted or irrigated conditions, in either direct seeded or transplanted fields. Timing of seeding and transplanting activities are affected by many factors (water availability, rice variety, etc.) but is not usually affected by the fish culture component.

Seedlings are best transplanted 25-30 days after seeding although the best age for traditional varieties may fall outside this. In practice, they often remain in the seedbed longer than this. Sometimes, droughts occur so that the fields are too dry to be transplanted and the farmer must wait for rain. In other cases, the family labor force is limited and the rice in the seedbed must "wait" until the family gets to it.

Most farmers find no problem in applying chemical fertilizers to their rice-fish systems. In some cases where fish have died after exposure have been reported, fish had been fed with pellets and may have ingested fertilizer granules for this reason.

The wide scale of rice-fish is still constrained by continued application of pesticides in rice-based farming. The use of pesticide is not recommended in rice-fish farming. In rice-fish culture, there are ways of controlling rice pests that do not need pesticide, such as:

· Quick submergence (for three hours) of rice plants in water. This makes the insects vulnerable to fish predation. Limitation: suitable before plants are taller than the dikes.

· Two persons can drag a stretched rope (50-100 m) across the ricefields to knock off the insects into floodwater, after which they can be eaten by the fish. Limitation: suitable before riceplants reach booting stage.

However, should a farmer insist on using pesticides, here are ways on how to do it.

1. Considerations in applying pesticides:

· Choose and apply properly pesticides that have low toxicity to fish.
· Minimize the amount of pesticide getting mixed with water.
· Apply at suitable time.

2. Considerations in preventing fish poisoning:

· Drive the fish into the sump, draining the field slowly before spraying: keep the fish in the sump until the toxicity in the sprayed field is gone.

· Increase water depth (+ 10 cm 0) to dilute the concentration of pesticides in the water.

· Flush water through the ricefield. Open the inlet and outlet of the field and allow irrigation water to flow freely during spraying. Begin spraying from the outlet end of the field. When one-half of the field is already sprayed, stop for a while and allow the pesticides to flow out of the field. Then, continue spraying towards the inlet end of the field until it is finished.

To do items (2) and (3) above, examples are: to apply powder pesticides in the morning when dew drops are still on the leaves; and to apply liquid pesticides in the afternoon when leaves are dry.

There are a number of less toxic pesticides in the market. (Examples are Parapest, Sumithlon, Dlpterex.) Proper application of a toxic insecticide like Furadan or Curaterr 3G can be made safe to fish if applied through solid incorporation during the final harrowing. Furadan is a systemic insecticide, the efficiency of which in controlling insect pests lasts about 50-55 days. Incidence of pests at this period can be controlled by spraying liquid pesticides. At this time, the rice plants are already at their full vegetative stage and the thick leaves will intercept most of liquid sprays, thus drastically reducing the concentration of pesticides reaching the water.

In It is best to wait until the rice is well-established before releasing seed fish, particularly if the fish are large. Once two or three tillers have appeared, one to three weeks after transplanting is the usual waiting period, depending on the state of the rice and the size of the fish or one month to six weeks after direct seedling.

Small fry (of about one inch length) can be stocked immediately after transplanting, without harm to the rice.

Rice Varieties: We have never seen a variety that does not work with fish, but some are better than others:

Deep water-tolerant varieties are preferable to those which thrive in only very shallow water.

In some areas where rainfalls are highly unpredictable, farmers prefer to wait until very late in the rainy season to stock fish. At this time, surface water accumulation will be at its yearly peak and the chance of flooding from later rains is very slim. In such cases, long-lived, late-maturing rice varieties are best.

Rice varieties which tiller rapidly or under a wide range of water conditions will allow farmers to stock earlier in many cases.

Farmers have succeeded with early and late-maturing photoperiod-sensitive and non-sensitive, glutinous and non-glutinous varieties.


Our experience indicates that rice yields rise on the average, by about 10 percent, in rice-fish situations. However, there is great variation from farm to farm so guarantees cannot be made.

Yields seem the most enhanced on farms with poor soil where fish are fed intensively. Possible mechanisms include:

· helps in increasing availability of nutrients for increased floodwater productivity and uptake by rice.

· reduces loss of ammonia through volatization after fertilizer application by preventing floodwater pH rise over 8.5

The greatest danger to rice has already been indicated: big fish will damage very young rice; otherwise, some rice varieties do not tolerate deep water. By using very sensible precautions, farmers are not likely to harm their rice yields.



Rice-fish benefits and problems

In discussing a technology with potential new entrants, it is important to acquire them with potential benefits and risks so that they can make as balanced a decision as possible as to whether or not to try out the technology. If they are not aware of the potential benefits, they may miss a chance to improve their standard of living. Ignorance of the risks can also lead to serious problems and reduce their self-reliance.


1. Rice-fish culture requires land. Landless farmers will have difficulties here unless they can make arrangements with the owner and seed arrangements must be mutually beneficial. Acquainting the owner with the benefits and problems associated with the technology will be important. The agreement should spell what part of production goes to the farmer and what goes to the owner. Will rent be increased? Will it be rearranged? Will all additional benefits from fish catches go to the farmer?

Can rice-fish culture on communal land be arranged for landless farmers?

2. Production cannot be guaranteed, especially in rainfed situations. Details follows:

· Good water management is essential but not always possible. Rain is not predictable nor controllable. Too much h water can IA lead to controllable Too much water can lead to flooding and escapes. Too little water inhibits growth and, in extreme cases, can kill fish. Fish cannot be cultured without water. (See other sheets on preparation of Field/Feeding and Maintenance.)

Good water management is essential

· Poor water quality can impede growth and cause death. This is rarely a problem in rice fields, but can be an issue in nurseries. (See sheet on Fry Nursing In Rice-Fish Systems.)

3. Pesticides and other toxic chemicals can kill fish and should be kept away from them. (See other sheets: Site Selection/Rice In Rice Fish Culture.)

Poor water quality can impede growth and cause death

4. Transport of seed fish and stocking should be carried out correctly. Seed fish are very vulnerable at these stages; carelessness can kill. (See other sheet on Stocking for Rice-Fish Culture.)

5. Predators can seriously reduce fish stocks. Food nursing can solve this problem to a large extent. Submerged snake traps of wire mesh can be used to drown snakes. Snakes and frogs can also be caught manually. Frog eggs should be removed when discovered and dried. Birds can sometimes be scared away.

6. Thieves are perhaps the most difficult predator to deter. Living near the field helps sometimes. Partly filling the pond with bamboo or other branches makes netting the fish difficult and submerged barbed wire will probably ruin any net it snags. Obstacles (rock or logs) placed on the dikes leading to the field makes access difficult at night. Watchdogs can also help.

7. Field preparation will demand a large investment of time and labor or money from the family. For poor farmers, labor availability often affects their ability to carry out the practice, limits the area they can prepare and affects the Intensity with which the system can be managed. Old and young couples with small children will be particularly challenged here. As a rule of thumb, a 1000-square-meter field will merely take more than ten eight-hour days to construct, it one person is doing the digging. A family with no time to feed the fish should stock lightly.

8. The farmer's managerial skills will increase in time. Many farmers succeed their first year, but many fail, as well. Failure among experienced farmers, however, is few.

9. Rice yields are occasionally reduced by rice-fish culture. This occurs most often when large fingerlings are stocked before the rice is well-established. The water in some fields as well may be deeper than desirable for some rice varieties. Sometimes, rice will lodge and fish will graze on the rice seeds.

10. Some farmers complain that wild fish catches are reduced in fields with cultured fish. Tilapia is most often indicated as the suspect. These farmers feel that cultured fish in large numbers can scare away wild species

11. Marketing problems can occur. A farmer can plan to keep his fish to sell when prices are high, but water shortages can force him to sell before this. Transporting fish to the market can also take time, especially when transport arrangements cannot be made beforehand. If a family plans to sell an important proportion of their catch: where, when and how will they sell it? Will this be easy?

12. Seed fish supply is a very common problem. A family may not always be able to get what it wants. Seed fish purchase usually occurs during transplanting season when demands for fish are high and farmers have little time and money.

Seed fish supply

In village where fish culture becomes widespread, the establishment of small hatcheries and nurseries deserves serious consideration. It is often advisable to encourage two or more interested villagers' who feel that they are in a position to manage such operations, if the local market is sufficient. This will keep one producer from monopolizing the market.


1. Compared to many technologies, rice-fish culture is low risk. It demands little money, is not particularly "new" or revolutionary for most rice farmers and involves few-conflicts with other farm activities.

2. Fish cultured in rice fields provide farmer with a continuous, predictable, convenient supply of food. Farmers accustomed to depending on uncertain, declining stocks of wild fish appreciate this.

3. Rice-fish culture saves farmers time and conserves water. This allows many farmers to begin other Income-earning activities or to improve on existing ones.

4. The small amounts of money needed mean that farmers need not take out loans. They, therefore, have many options as to how to use their fish: They can eat them, sell them, keep them alive (nature permitting), preserve them or give them away. They do not have to make quick sales to reduce debts.

5. Income from sales can provide useful money at various times. Some farmers can sell brood fish or seed fish, as well as table fish.

Pest control mechanisms

Fish feeding on newly hatched snails.

Fish feeding on dispersing stemborer larvae.

Fish feeding on hoppers that fall on the water surface. Fish may actively shake rice hills when nibbling on the stems.

Fish feeding on case worm larvae while floating on the water.

Fish feeding on floating sclerotia.

Weeds are controlled by direct feeding. Increased water turbidity and constant flooding.

Disturbed moths fly up and are preyed upon by birds or other predators.



The rice-fish ecosystem

Simplified nutrient flows

FERTILIZER - input of simple nutrients to the system

· Organic - available also to fish, plankton, algae, soil, fauna and bacteria
· Inorganic - available only to rice crops, macrophytes, algae, weeds, phytoplanktons and bacteria.

PHOTOSYNTHESIS - produces food from simple nutrients using sun's energy

- plants, algae and phytoplankton are food for fish, insects, zooplankton and soil fauna

DECOMPOSED MATERIALS - add to the detritus layer
BACTERIA - organisms which recycle materials back to simple nutrients
FISH - examples of various feeding groups

Ecosystem components

Ecosystem components A

Ecosystem components B

Ecosystem components C

Ecosystem components D

Ecosystem components E

Ecosystem components F

Prepared by: AHYAUDIN ALI


Fish as a component of integrated pest management (ipm) in rice production


IPM is a pest control concept that uses the best available mix of technologies for a particular pest problem. It promotes practices available to the farmer and permits pest control with the least use of chemicals to get high yields and maximum profits. Reducing pesticide application is an important factor because this control method is often uneconomical and unsafe to humans. Moreover, many pesticides kill both pests and their natural enemies at the same time, leaving the crop open to an uncontested invasion of pests.

IPM includes a variety of technologies such as choosing pest and disease-resistant varieties, using crop rotation, fallows and simultaneous planting over wide areas. It also encourages the establishment of natural enemies of rice pests.

Economic threshold levels are used to help farmers decide when the application of pesticides is economically justified. The presence of parasites and predators, including fish, minimizes the need for the farmer to take action.


The most widely spread fish species in paddies are common carp (Cyprlnus carplo), Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and silver barb (Puntius gonlonotus). However, there is a large additional number of both stocked and wild fish species in ricefields.

Among those, there are larva-feeding and mollusc-feeding fish which are of considerable importance in the control of human vector-borne diseases, like malaria and schistosomiasis. Plant-eating fish species directly feed on weeds and are reported to be efficient in keeping irrigation canals free from vegetation. Turbidity and high water level add to the effects of fish-controlling weeds.

Different fish species will affect difenent pests in different ways. Common carp, for instance, appear very effective at controlling the golden apple snail. In Malaysia, tilapia was not able to control this pest but the giant walking catfish performed well.

The effectiveness of fish in fields where rice is broadcast is doubtful, since the rice will be too crowded to give fish good access to the field. There is no evidence for an optimal fish stocking density for pest control, but higher densities are presumed to be more effective. Fish eat older, outer rice leaves which are more likely to be infested with pathogens. This will make the rice plants healthier.

There are several reports documenting either reduced number of pests or less damage caused by pests and diseases with the presence of fish (Table 1). Most of this work has been done in concurrent rice-fish systems. In some cases, the underlying mechanisms have been described (Fig. 1-7). However, this list is far from complete. It is likely that more direct and indirect effects will be revealed with continuing research.

Problematic organisms in rice production, predation of fish and susceptible life stage of prey.





Whorl maggot



Gall midge








Black bug



Brown plant hopper


Whitebacked plant hopper


Green leafhopper




Rice blast



Sheath blight






Brown spot



Bacterial blight


Bacterial leaf streak










Broadleaved weeds




Golden apple snail


? - no information available
+- based on documented observation


To date feeding habits of fish in the ricefield habitat are not well-established.

· Feeds can be given daily at 5% of the shrimps' body weight (If no manure loading) or 2-3% (with manure loading). Mix ingredients thoroughly, form them into balls and put them in feeding trays. The use of feeding trays controls consumption of feeds and prevents wastage.

Feeds can be given daily

· Feed twice a day: one third of the quantity in the morning and the rest in the aftermoon.

· Check feed consumption daily to adjust the feeding regime as necessary. Below is a recommended formula for shrimps in rice paddies.

50% - rice bran, broken rice or rice grain
20-30% - cassava root or broken maize
20-30% - trash fish, shrimp head wastes or oil cake


Predators include sea bass, tilapia, snake head and other wild fish that compete with the shrimps for feeds. Predation can result in very low shrimp yields.

Before stocking shrimp, use any of the following measures:

· Drain rice fields and apply lime at the rate of 10 kg/100 sq m (15-20 kgs for sulphate acid soils)
· Apply Derris root (Derrls elilptica), 1-1.5 kg soaked in 10l water/1000 sq.m
· Release ducks into the rice fields for several days.

Within the culture time: Put gill nets in the trenches to catch the predators going to the rice fields.


· Water exchange is essential to supply oxygen to the shrimps and to remove detrimental substances in the water. This should be done at least twice a month. The more frequent the water is changed, the more suitable it is for the shrimps' growth and development.

· Water exchange also improves the pH value in the fields especially in sulphate acid soils.
· Dikes should be repaired yearly.
· Cover crab holes along the dikes to prevent leakage.
· Daily-check the screen mesh on the outlet and inlet pipes.


· Harvest shrimps 5-6 months after rice harvest.
· Open the outlet pipe at low tide and drain the field and trench.
· Hand-collect shrimps in the rice field and use a net to harvest in the trench.


· Harvest only the trig shrimps (bigger than 15 9). The small ones are reserved for the next culture.

Note: Transfer small shrimps immediately to a hapa (cage net) to keep them alive for the next culture.

Bring harvested shrimps as soon as possible to the dealer or keep them in ice so that they stay fresh.


· Local varieties are recommended. Transplanting should be done when the salinity is lower than 5 ppt.

· Plough and harrow thoroughly before transplanting.

· Transplant 30-40 days after seeding.


· Apply 50 kg diammonium phosphate and 5 t manure/ha before ploughing.
· Use 50 kg urea/ha for top-dressing


· No pesticide or herbicide is applied in integrated shrimp-rice culture.
· Use brown planthoppe -resistant varieties of rice.
· Release one-month old ducks into ricefield to feed on insects, especially hoppers.

Note: In case the above measures cannot control pests, pesticide application can be an alternative. Before applying the pesticide, drain water in the field to let shrimps take refuge in the trench for 35 days.


· Nipa and coconut trees are indicators of salinity lower than 10 ppt. Rhizophora is an indicator of salinity higher than 10 ppt.

· During the dry season when salinity level is not suitable for rice growing, the fields can be used for shrimp monoculture.

· Freshwater prawn (M Rosenbergll) can be grown if the salinity is not higher than 10 opt. The procedure is similar to those applied in the rainy season. When the salinity is higher than 10 ppt, freshwater prawns become stunted.

Monoculture of shrimp

· Tiger prawn (Penaeus monoden) and banana shrimp (Penaeus mergulensis) can be cultured in rice fields when the salinity is higher than 10 ppt in the dry season.

Stocking density

1/sq m

Stocked juveniles

2 g/head

Feeding rate

2-3% of body weight

Feed formulae

50 % rice bran (broken rice), 50% trash fish (tidder crab, oil cake)


5-6 months

Other procedures are similar to freshwater prawn culture.

Estimated cost and return of rice-shrimp culture In coastal areas in south vietnam (for one hectare).



Rice seed (24 kg x 2,500)


Prawn seed (4,000 seeds x 60)


Fertilizer (20 kg urea x 2,500)


Feed (100 kg x 1,000)


Manure (1 tm x 20,000)




Labor (20 man/day x 7,000)


Total Cost



Rice (0.5 tm x 1,200,000)


Prawn (30 kg x 35,000)


Wild fish (4 kg 5,000)


Total income




1 US $ = 7000 VND

Prepared by: LE THANH HUNG


Using animal wastes in fish ponds


How animal wastes work in a poind

· Direct feeding value of pure wastes is known to be poor.
· Wastes act by:

- stimulating phytoplankton production; and,
- acting as substrate for bacterial production (detritus).

These two processes are strongly interlinked, since phytoplanktons are a major source of detritus for bacterial production. Also, phytoplanktons, through photosynthesis, are the chief producers of dissolved oxygen in the pond used by all organisms including fish.


· Are wastes available already on-farm? If so, are the wastes already used? Should they be divided for use in fish culture?

Livestock wastes are often important as crop fertilizers and fuel. Consider the opportunity costs.

· Is it worth raising livestock, especially to generate wastes for aquaculture?


· costs/difficulties of doing so (e.g., feed availability and cost; marketing difficulties; technical abilities and interest of farmers)

· inorganics are now much cheaper to use than livestock manure in many places.


1. Are all wastes to be used in fish culture?

It some wastes are to be used elsewhere, the wastes should be collectible prior to entering the pond (e.g., use a sump). Also, wastes should be available in larger quantities at certain periods when their use should be reduced for fish culture (e.g., during cool season).


On the Pond Dike

Pens should be close to the pond to reduce labor cost of loading waste.

Over the Pond

Over the pond is usually cooler, more humid.

In the layout/design aspect, consider:

· size and number of livestock space availability/land cost; and,
· relative cost of materials.

2. Can all the wastes be collected?

Feedlot livestock are kept confined at all times so all the wastes can be collected and used.

Small-scale farmers often allow livestock to graze or scavenge during daylight hours and only confined at night. This reduces feed costs considerably, often allowing only on-farm or low-cost supplementary feeds to be given. But collectible wastes will be less.

3. Livestock may be penned at the farmer's house for security or traditional reasons; this may limit potential advantages of integration.

4. Ponds may be multifunctional:

Large animals are usually denied access to the pond because entry to and wallowing in can destroy the dikes and cause turbidity which reduces natural food production.

Maybe design the pond to allow limited access.

Fence around pond keeps Buffalo out.

Fence across pond lets Buffalo in water.

Livestock wastes vary in terms of both quantity and quality which are affected by the following factors:

· Food quality of livestock
· Species and size
· Stage in life cycle (breeder, grower, etc.)
· Solids alone or mixed with urine
· Amount of waste feed
· Contamination with bedding materials, rainwater, soil, etc.
· Method and period of storage

We are monograstrics. We are fed a high quality diet and my waste is high in nutrients.


I am a ruminant. I am given a diet low in nutrients and my waste is low in nutrients. But I am cheap to feed.


· Young livestock tend to feed on diets higher in protein so their wastes has more nitrogen and is better as a pond input.

· Ruminant feces contain high levels of carbon relative to nitrogen and discolor the water. Generally used alone, they give low-fish yields. Consider use of urine as it contains a better balance of nutrients.

· Laying hens are fed different diets than broiler chickens and their waste is particularly high in phosphorus


· First application can be done about 1-2 weeks before fish stocking to produce natural food FOR immediate fish consumption.

· Apply or load manure after sunrise (about mid-morning).

· Maintain a regular schedule or routine of application.

· Make sure that fresh water is available for flushing in case of DO depletion.

· During pond preparation, scrape off 1-2 inches of the pond bottom soil. This can SEVE as an excellent fertilizer for vegetables.


Too much manure when loaded in fish ponds can cause dissolved oxygen (DO) depletion resulting to fish moralities. When manure loading is excessively high, too much decomposition occurs; thus, the biological oxygen demand (BOD) is high, using up the available DO.

Causes of and possible remedies for different water quality problems.











+ 0000 >


+ 0000

green water; little surface scum; active fish behavior.

no problem.


+ 0000 <


+ 0000

cloudy water; fish appear hungry

stocking density of fish to high

harvest some fish; add more fertilizer


+ 0 >


+ 0000

deep ponds; high dikes surrounded by trees

no wind-caused turbulence poor water circulation

agitation during critical periods remove wind breakers; keep water level high


+ 0000



very green; surface scum gas bubbles

overabundance of stocking density

agitate during critical periods; add quik limite to precipitate scum; add fertilizer to stimulate growth of new plankton but afterwards ,reduce overall nutrients inputs; maintain fish at higher stocking density and/or release plankton eating fish


+ 00


+ 0000

cloudy, still weather.

low light intensity; no natural agitation of water surface

agitation add fresh water;harvest some of the fish


+ 0000 <


+ 0000

brown, discolored water; gas bubbles; pungent odor

overuse of poor quality manure.

use less manure and more inorganic

1 Phytoplanktons (produce dissolved oxygen during daytime but consume it at night.
2 Another source of dissolved oxygen in a static water is diffusion of atmospheric oxygen.


1. When plenty of fish are on the water surface gasping for air.

ater surface gasping for air

2. When air or gas bubles are observed in the water.

Gas bubles are observed in the water

3. The pond water is brownish or grayish.
4. The pond water swells pungent.


1. Stop manure bading.

2. Add fresh water into the pond. While doing so, drain water off the pond bottom.

3. Stir the pond water by striking the water surface with tree branches or other appropriate materials; row repeatedly across the pond.

4. Make provisions for flow-through system (if water is readily available).

5. Use mechanical aerators (l available).


Use of a Secchie disc:

The disc is lowered into the water from a calibrated rope. If it disappears within a depth < 30 cm, the water is turbid.

Using one's hand:

With the hand strecthed forward, cup the palm and bend K towards you. in this position, slowly dip the hand into the water until the palm becomes invisible Transparency is expressed, the distance siltfrom the wrist to the end of the water mark on the arm.

if the water is turbid because of suspended sedimentary particles, spread over the pond surface chopped rice straw or hay, allowing them to settle at the pond bottom together with the silt practices.

CAUTION: Too much decomposing hay can also deplete dissolved oxygen.

pH or hydrogen ion concentration determines whether the water is acidic or alkaline. Highly acidic water (4 or balow) can result to fish kills.


Use of equipament as: litmus paper; pH meter; Hack kit

Practical method:

Testing the water: if water tastes sour, K is acidic. Knowing the water source: acidic water comes from swamps, bogs or water from stagnant areas.


· Stop manure loading.
· Apply lime.

Hydrogen sulfide is a poisonous gas emitted from the pond bottom as a result of decaying and decomposing organic matter:


· Emission of unpleasant odor resembling that of a rotten hard-boiled egg.
· Presence of dead fish like gobies


Drain pond and dry pond bottom for 1 -2 weeks.

· Agitate the pond water.
· Add fresh water.
· Regulate or stop manure loading.


Off-flavor or muddy taste of fish harvested in manure-loaded ponds can be a serious problem if fish farmers do not follow the proper harvesting procedures. People will not buy nor eat the fish with off-flavor or muddy taste.

Fish harvesting


1. Stop manure loading or delivery to the fish pond at least two days before harvesting.

2. Partialiy drain the Pond leaving about 40-50 cm water depth.

3. Harvest fish by seining before draining the pond totally. This will minimize fish mortality and the murky odor of fish associated with muddied water.

4. Transfer fish to a net enclosure installed In a pond with clean water or in holding tanks with running water and hold the fish for at least 4-6 hour..

5. Sell fish live or fresh.

Fish harvesting fish harvesting A

Fish harvesting fish harvesting B



Sewage-fed fish

Sewage is a rich nutrient resource, cheaply available around big towns and cities. It can be well-utilized for fertilizing paddies, fish ponds and horticultural crops. Waste utilization through recycling also helps in maintaining a clean environment. This paper is based on existent practices in Eastern India.


In areas where irrigation facilities are not available, a second crop of rice is possible by construction water storage structures within the field. These could be in the form of lateral, central or marginal trenches or unilateral/bilateral ponds which are also utilized for aquaculture. Based on the input requirements for a 0.4 ha field, the following methods are adopted:

Raise the peripheral dikes by digging a perimeter trench (3 m wide x 1.5 m deep) or a lateral pond. If necessary, inlets and outlets are provided and guarded with meshed screens.

Fill the trench with sewage water to a level of 1 5-20 cm

Deep water paddy (CN 570, 652; NC 487 or 492) is sown directly after the first monsoon shower.

When water level in the trench is- about 60-70 cm, stock about 400 mature (1.5-2 g) mole (Amblypharyngodon mole) together with 8,000 bata (Labeo bata) having an average weight of 2g. As soon as 3-4 g prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergil) are available, 2000 juveniles are also stocked.

The fish and prawn move about the field when the water level in the trench rises and covers the paddy.

The water level in the field and the trench falls with the end of monsoon. The paddy ripens by November/December and about 560 kg are harvested from the field in 150 days. The fish and prawn continue to grow in the trench.

Utilize the water in the trench for raising a second crop of rice. Fertilize it by taking in sewage to a level of about 10 cm each month from December to February. A low-level dike Is constructed all around to maintain a 10-15 cm water level in the paddy field.

The field is fertilized with sewage and seedlings of high-yielding varieties (Ratna or IET 4094) are transplanted in January.

Sewage fertilization is repeated when the seedlings have taken roots and again during the flowering stage. The fields are irrigated regularly and the water level maintained until the rice is mature. Pesticides are used only when necessary.

A partial harvest of the prawns (50 g), bata (20 g), mole (20 9) is made.

The paddy is harvested by April with a yield of about 2.0- 2.4 t.

The fishes are finally harvested by the end of April or early May. The total fish harvest is about 112 kg bata, 50 kg prawns and 45-50 mole.


1. The second rice crop contributes to additional food production,-- employment and income generation.
2. Fish crop provides a rich protein food of high market value and adds considerably to the farmer' income.


1. Trench/pond construction is useful only in water-retentive soils.
2. Difficulties in fish seed transport, if away from the main road.

Rupee budget for rice-fish-prawn culture in a 0.4-ha unit.



For first (Kharif) crop

Rice seed (44 kg at Rs 3.50/kg)


Labor (20 man-days for ploughing, sowing, harvesting and thrashing at Rs 18/day)


For second (boro) crop

Rice seed (32 kg at Rs 3.50/kg.)


Labor (44 man-days for cleaning, transplantation,harvesting, etc.)




Fish Seed and Transport


Total Costs



Sale of first paddy crop (560 kg at Rs 2.50/kg)


Sale of second paddy crop (2240 kg at Rs 2.50/kg)


Sale of 210 kg fish/prawn


Total Income




1 US$ = 25.50 Rs


The utilization of sewage for aquaculture and horticulture results in high yields and economizes on fertilizer and feed costs, resulting in higher profits. Based on the input requirements for a 0.4 ha pond, the following procedure is recommended:

Broadcast about 200 kg of quicklime over the entire pond surface after it Is drained and dried for about 10-15 days.

Load the pond with 30 cm of sewage in early June which gets diluted with rain water and filled up to a level of 1.2-1.3 m by early July.

Stock with 3000 fingerlings of six species (catla 15, silver carp 25, rohu 25, grass carp 5, mrigal 20 and common carp 10) or 2000 fingerlings of three species (catla 40, rohu 30, mrigal 30).

Use the dikes (500-1000 sq m of land around the pond bank) for growing vegetables, beginning with monsoon crops, followed by winter and then summer crops. Each crop is harvested as soon as it is ready. About 1500 kg of vegetables are harvested from 500 sq m of dikes.

A wide range of vegetables can be planted: okra, eggplant, cucurbit gourds, cabbage, cauliflowers, potato, radish, tomato, onion and leafy vegetables like Amaranthus, Ipomoea, fenugreek, spinach, etc., are raised in simple mixed or multiple cropping.

Load the pond with sewage effluence once a month to the extent of one-fourth or one-fifth of the water level.

Feed all waste leaves to the grass carp in the pond; 80 kg of leaves give about 1 kg of fish.

The pond is netted every 15 days and marketable fish is harvested. A total of 2400 kg of fish can be harvested from the pond.


1. Waste utilization/recycling of domestic sewage brings about a reduction in biochemical oxygen demand/bacterial load before releasing in streams.

2. High-stocking densities and high-yield rates, especially of plankton feeders as well as detritus feeders, are possible.

3. Low-cost fish/vegetable production.


1. Cope pod parasites due to high organic load cause moralities
2. Sudden fall in oxygen level owing to cloudy weather or heavy intake also results in moralities.

Rupee budget for vegetable production on a 1000 sq m plot on the pond banks.


Yield (kg)

Production Cost


Net income

















200 (dry)




Note: About 25 different kinds of vegetables are grown in single/mixed or multiple cropping and an average production of 3,000 kg valued and Rs 7,260 obtained. The cost of production being Rs 5,400 a net profit of Rs 1,860 is taken by farmers. In small farms, the farmer himself works as labor which accounts for 60% of the total production costs; hence, he nets out an income of Rs 1,860 + Rs 3,240 = Rs 5,100 or US $ 204.00.

Prepared by: S.D. TRIPATHI & B.K. SHARMA


Biogas slurry in fish culture

Cowdung is commonly used as a fertilizer for fish ponds in India but fish production is limited to 15002000 kg/ha. These yields can, however, be more than doubled if the dung is first fed to a biogas plant and the digested slurry then used instead of the raw dung. The following methodology for a 0.4 ha pond exemplifies the technology.


1. Prepare the pond using the urea-bleaching powder

· method or by draining-drying in June.

2. Stock the pond with 2000 (5-8 9) fingerlings of six Asiatic carps: catla 20, rohu 25, mrigal 20, silver carp 20, grass carp 5 and common carp 10.

3. Fertilize the pond daily with 30 litres of biogas slurry. The slurry is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, and is free from toxic gases which are produced when cowdung decomposes in ponds.

Excess slurry is used for the field while the gas is used both in the kitchen and for lighting the house.

The slurry is not applied on a cloudy day or when the fish come to the surface gulping air.

4. Surface feeders will be about 1 kg in six months. All marketable fish are then harvested every two months and replenished with an equal number of fingerlings. A total of 2000 kg of fish is obtained using biogas slurry as against 800 kg if raw cowdung were used.


· Saving on inorganic fertilizers and feed (60% of operation costs).

· Environment-friendly—no oxygen demand.

· Saving on fuel and electricity.

· Cooking with biogas removes drudgery of womenfolk and helps in keeping the kitchen and environment clean.


· Slurry/gas production is poor during cloudy days or when temperatures are low.

Biogas slurry.babed fish culture on a 0.4 ha pond.

Operational Expenses:


Cost of pond preparation


Cost of seed



1 00

Imputed cost of biogas plant (2 units, ddpreciation vain. On5-year life span)


Lime (80 kg)


Netting charges





Sale of 2000 kg fish at Rs 15/kg


Net income


Note: 1 U$ = 25.50 Rs

Plant sources of feed for fish


In India, TRAPA (Trapa bispinossa) and makhana (Euryale ferox) are two seasonal, aquatic cash crops which are grown extsosively In Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, respectively. While the environment is not congenial tar Indian carps, common carp goes well with trapa and airbreathing fishes with makhana tagged en the Input requirements for a 0.4 ha pond, the procedures to be adapted en given below:

Trapa bispinosa

1. Transplant trapa seedlings In May/June in a perennial pond. These plants make use of the

- available organic matter for their growth.

2. Stock 800 (50 g) common carp fingerings In September- October.

3. Trapa l fruits ripen in winter and are harvested from November to January. Aproduction of 3 4 tons of fruits is obtained.

4. Fish are harvests in April/May when 750-1000 g tish are available. A total of 400-500 kg fish are harvested

Euryale Ferox

1. The seeds sprout in February and the leaves cover the pond fully by May/June.

2. The plants start fruiting by August and burst in October, scattering the seeds at the pond bottom which are collected by scanning the bottom mud.

3. Stock 1,200 (8-10 g) air-breathing fishes (Clarlas batrachus) in November and harvest by April, when about 500 kg of fish can be obtained.

Napier grass.

Besides aquatic vegetation' such ' as Hydrilla, Ottella, Potamogeton, etc., green grass has a great role in feeding grass carp. Hybrid rapier, once sown on pond bank, can be cropped continuously for five years, needing little irrigation during summer. A new system utilizing aquatic vegetation/green grass alone for fish production gives high yields at very low costs. It is labor-intensive and highly suitable for small, shallow ponds (0.06 - 0.15 ha). Based on input requirements for a 0.1 ha pond, the methods to be followed'are given below:

1. Prepare the pond in May/June using urea-bleaching powder method or by draining, It a source of water for filling the pond is available.

Prepare the pond in May/June

2. Seven to ten days later, stock the pond with 200 (5060 9) grass carp. Feed them to satiation (system of feeding ad libitum: fish 'are satiated when they have stopped feeding and there are still some feed material' left lying about) with Hydrilla.- Within about a week, the pond is also stocked with 40 each of catla, rohu, mrigal, silver carp and common carp (5-8 g). Grass carp is gradually - weaned from Hydrilla to napier grass.

3. Feeding is done regularly to satiation.

Feeding is done regularly

4. Silver carp, catla and common carp will be the first to attain a weight of 1 kg each. From the fifth or sixth month onward, these are harvested one after another. Replenish the harvested fish with an equal number of fingerlings.

5.Hybrid napier is planted at 1 root slip/sq m and manured with 2.5 t farmyard manure/1000 sq m.

Irrigation is done at 10-15 day intervals. The grass is cut after 75 days, followed by 45-day intervals. About 10 cuts can be taken from each plant. A production of 12-15 t napier from 1000 sq m is taken. About 2000 sq m land area will produce enough napier to feed the fish in a 0.1 ha pond. This means that to provide sufficient grass to feed the fish, twice the pond area is needed for growing rapier.

6. About 400 kg of fish can be harvested from the pond in the course of one full year.


· Utilization of rapier/weeds for fish production at no cost.
· Utilization of pond resource for fish production in trapa/makhana ponds.
· Additional income and employment generation.


· Non-availability of large-eked grass carp and their transport
· As large quantities of grass Is required, napier/weed integration is possible in small ponds only.

Prepared by: S.D. TRIPATHI & B.K. SHARMA



Carp breeding using off- season wheat fields

About 300,000 ha of wheat fields around Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh in India are virtual rainfed ponds (havelis) from July to October. There being no source of irrigation, rainwater is Impounded in these fields (with about 1 m high dikes) until the onset of winter when they are drained, ploughed and the wheat is sown. This period lasts for 3-4 months wherein the field is utilized either for common carp seed production. Based on the input requirements for a 0.4 ha field, the following procedures could be followed:

Fish breeding


Select a field near the road but away from flood-prone zone. Check the dikes and put meshed screens on the inlets and outlets, if provided.

Spray an emulsion of 201 diesel and 7 kg of cheap washing soap on the water surface to kill predatory aquatic insects as soon as about 60-80 cm of water gets accumulated in the field.

After spraying, release 4 healthy and fully ripe females along with an equal number of males, each weighing about 1 kg. Provide 2-3 kg of Hydrilla or Eich ornia at 3 or 4 places in the field. A fully-ripe, healthy female can be distinguished by its swollen bulging abdomen and a reddish genital region which is pit-like in the male. The males also ooze milk with gentle pressure on their abdomen.

The fish breed within 24-48 hours of stocking or take a day or two more, if they are not fully ripe. The eggs are laid on the weeds and hatch out within 48-72 hours.

Harvesting can be done after 15-20 days. Approximate yield is 100,000 fry of about 2530 mm size. If the field is fertilized with 2000 kg cowdung and the fish are fed with an artificial feed comprising groundnut oil cake and rice bran (1:1 by weight), the survival is high and the growth is fast.

The remaining fry attain a size of 40-60 mm by the time the fields are to be drained when these (about 20,000 fingerlings) are also harvested.

Sample rupee budget for carp in haveli wheat fields (0.4 ha)



Cost of 8 kg live brood-fish (4 females and4 males, 1 kg each) at Rs 25/kg


Transport cost


Soap oil treatment





Sale of 50,000 fry at Rs 10/1000


Sale of 20,000 fingerlings at Rs 100/1000


Sale of 6 kg of fish at Rs 15/kg






Net Income/ha


1 US$ = 25.50 Rs

Prepared by: S.D. TRIPATHI & B.K. SHARMA


Nursery system for carp species

A nursery is a facility where fish seed (hatchlings/fry) can grow. Efficient fish pond culture requires special preparation of nurseries for receiving spawn and hatchlings. The ideal size of a nursery is 0.02 0.02. ha with a depth of 1.0 - 1.5 m.


Remove all aquatic weeds (Day 1).

Drain or poison the pondwith Plscide-Phostoxin or Cellphos @ 1
tablet/210 cu ft water (Day 2).

Apply 5-6 kg lime which helps to release food nutrients available and to kill pathogenic organisms in the pond (Day 16).

· Refill water if necessary and fertilize (Day 19).

Apply fertilizer 3 days after lime application and 7-10 days before stocking.

· The most basic and reliable test involves filtering approximately 50 1 of water through a fine mesh into a 2.5 cm diameter specimen tube.

· Alternatively, a very simple field test in non-muddy water is to dip one's hand in the water to the elbow. If the hand is no longer visible, the plankton is probably sufficient.


Apply 80-100 g Dipterex at least 20-24 hours before stocking to kill the back swimmers or other aquatic insects in the pond (Day 29).

· Stock 60,000-70,000 hatchlings of 4-5 days old (200-250 9). The hatchlings should be of same age, uniform size, vigorous and released either in the morning or late afternoon (Day



Common carp


Silver carp


Rohu Mrigal

April - July


May - July

Grass carp

May- August

Silver Barb

March - May

Stocking Procedures

Before the hatchlings/fry are introduced to a new environment, it is important that the temperature inside the plastic bag is approximately the same as the pond water.

Place the bags, unopened, in the pond for 10-15 minutes. Open slowly and introduce small quantities of pond water to equalize the temperature. The fry is now allowed to swim into the pond.


· It is often difficult to maintain a high level of natural food for growing fry and supplementary feeds become necessary (Day 31). A mixture of finely powdered oil cake (soya beans, mustard, etc.), rice or wheat bran and fish meal in the ratio of 5:4:1 is to be supplied to try daily.



· Check the pond daily and see if there is an excess of green algae then; stop, application of supplementary feeds. Remove frogs/snakes, if any, in the pond. Increase feed by 10% of the rate mentioned above if the growth of the fish is not found steady and good.


· Harvest the try/fingerlinggs (Day 60) by using fry catching net, either in the morning or late afternoon and keep them in the enclosure (hapa) or cistern at least 3-4 hours before transportation (Day 60). Transport the fry/fingerlings in oxygenated plastic begs.

Before transporting, it is important that fingerlings are conditioned. The principle behind this is that they have time to empty their alimentary canal before being packed in high densities, so that the pollution of the carrying waters through excrete is reduced. Clean water from tube well should be used for conditioning the fingerlings.

Traditionally, young fish are transported in clay or aluminum pots. Recently, the use of plastic bags in compressed oxygen is becoming more widespread, as this allows the fish to be transported in higher densities and longer distances with substantially less mortality. Approximately, 5 1 of water

Harvesting and transportation

Density of fish (30 mm size) during transportation:


Number per Liter



Big head




Silver carp


Taka budget of 0.02 ha nursery pond preparation for fingerling production.



Draining/refilling or poisoning of pond


Lime 5 kg


Cattle dung 200 kg


1.75 kg Urea and 2 kg triple superphosphate


Dipterex 0.2 kg


60,000 carp hatchlings


Supplementary feeds: 20 kg mustard oil cake + 10 kg rice


Netting, labor and others


Total cost

Tk 1480

Income from sale of 30,000 (3.5 - 4.5 cm) fry/fingerlings

Tk 3000


Tk 1520

US$1.00 = TK 38

Prepared by: MD. GOLAM AZAM KHAN


Fry nursing in rice-fish systems

Most Northeast Thai rice-fish culturists cannot control predators in their fields and finding seed fish 7 cm in length is difficult, if not impossible. Therefore, culturing small fry in a nursery where they can grow, safe from perdation, to a size when most of them can escape predation, is often advisable.

Nurseries come in several varieties:

· small pond in or near the field
· small rice-fish, well-supplied with water
· nursery cage in larger pond


A small pond, usually 100 sq m or smaller, is most common. During the dry season, the pond is dry or dried. Lime and manure are commonly added at about 3 kg and 10 kg/sq m, respectively. With the first rain, In new ponds, these rates should often be increased.

Once water begins accumulating, depth and color should be monitored. Is the water turbid? Adding more manure, straw or other fertilizer may help clear this up. If water is very clear, similarly, fertilizer should be added. This fertilizing in clear water should lead to the establishment of plankton, which gives the water a brownish to greenish color preferably the former. Checking the amount of plankton in the water Is easily done by observing at what depth the palm of the hand disappears. Ideally, the palm will become invisible around elbow depth. If the palm disappears in this 10 cm of the surface, the water Is too rich. Fertilization should be reduced or stopped and some new water added. if possible.

Poor plankton

Good plankton

Plankton bloom

The depth of water should preferably reach 70-80 cm prior to stocking. The farmer should feel reasonably sure that water should remain near this depth, as well. Two to three thousand 2-cm fry can be stocked in a 100 sq m pond, for culture up to fingerling size (5 cm). This is enough for a 1-ha field when fish are not fed. If the field is about 1000 Sq m, a 10-20 sq m pond will be large enough.

Following stocking, the pond can be fertilized and fed with fine, available materials (rice bran, termites, left-over). Feeding will be especially important in turbid ponds.

Early every morning, the pond should be checked to see if fish are gaping. This is a sign of insufficient oxygen and, if noticed, should be dealt with according to the situation. (Take note of this!)

Fish are usually held in the pond until the rice is well-established in the field (with 2-3 new tillers) and the fish have reached a length of around 5 cm. This usually takes about six weeks If there is stable

A nursery allows the farmer to stock fish earlier, thereby prolonging the growing season for the fish and possibly allowing purchase of a wider choice of fish than later in the season. A good nursery also assures higher survival for fry than would be the case in a rice field, when predation is uncontrollable. The farmer who is used to buying fingerlings will save money by investing in smaller fry.

A bad nursery, however, is worse than no nursery at all. If predators are present, seedfish cannot escape and mortalities will be very high. For similar reasons, pollution due to overfeeding or toxic chemicals can be dangerous. Overheating, particularly in very shallow water, can be another problem. A small patch of shade over the water may be needed, in this case, this should cover only a little of the water surface, since sunlight is needed to produce oxygen and natural feed. When an existing pond is used to hold water or fish all year round, it should not be used as a nursery. The farmer will do better to dig a small, shallower pond or cage to set a nursing cage of fine mesh in the existing pond. Fish stocked in such a cage will need daily or twice-daily feeding with good quality food.


The Aquaculture Outreach project of the Asia Institute of Technology has developed with farmers a nursery cage technology which is becoming popular in Northeast Thailand. These fine-meshed cages assure an absence of predators, make management easy and give the farmers a chance to become more familiar with their fish. Feeding, however, becomes more expensive.


· Access to nylon netting material and nylon string.
· Livestock concentrate and fine rice bran.

Seed should be given twice daily as a mixed dry mash of duck or pig concentrate (40% crude protein) and fine rice bran (at a ratio of 2:1 by weight). This may appear rich, but has been found appropriate in trials with farmers. Feed can be mixed for 1 week and kept in a dry place.

Mixing feed ingredients weekly and storing in a dry place.

Nile tilapia is best raised in monoculture.

Common carp, mrigal, grass carp and silver barb all grow well in monoculture or polyculture to reach 6-10 cm size in 6-8 weeks.

The amounts should increase and be equivalent to:

10% body weight/day - week 1 & 2
8% body weight/day - week 3 & 4
5% body weight/day - week 5, 6, 7, 8

Other feeds can be given after week 4.

Use of sardine cans as the unit for estimating feed inputs.

Termites and green fodders (cassava leaf, morning glory and Euphorbia sp)

finely chopped and fed after week 4.

Fertilization of the pond or ricefield using urea and buffalo manure will improve growth and allow some reduction in quantity of concentrate given.


Nylon hapas can be made by hand but are usually stronger when a machine is used. Attention should be given to making the reinforced corners. Hapas of two sizes have been found suitable for small-scale farmers depending on their requirement for seedfish.

Making the hapa

The hapa should be suspended using enough bamboo poles and nylon string. The bottom of the net is kept down using a rock attached to a string for easy removal.

After use, the hapa should be cleaned and dried before careful storage to avoid damage by rodents.

The AIT Outreach Project has developed with farmers a booklet explaining the hapa method. The AIT Outreach project is funded by the Overseas Development Administration (ODA), U.K.



Fingerling production in irrigated paddy

Fish fingerlings supply is scarce in Northern Bangladesh. It is usually expensive and laborious for fish farmers to procure fish seeds. The production of common carp (Cyprlnus carpio) fingerlings with different types of "boro" or irrigated paddy is an alternative. Although production figures are below the commercial rates, small farmers can grow their own fingerlings at minimal cost.

The four types of irrigated paddies for fingerling production (as practiced by poor farmers in Northern Bangladesh) the have following features:


:clay loam

fish species: Common carp

water supply


rice variety: Bangladesh Rice

water depth

:maintained at7.5 -10 cm

(BR) 3, BR -8 , BR-9, BR-14, Tayap and China Pajam.

area range

:12.5 - 1,320 sq m

Fingerling production in irrigated paddy


1. Fish hatchlings or fry can be reared in different types of "boro" paddy plot designs without altering farmer's normal practices in rice production.

2. Farmers' existing resources can be used.

3. Only minimum additional expenses are required.

4. When the fish get bigger than one inch, they control weeds, pests and insects in the paddy.

5. Fish feces serve as fertilizer for rice.

6. Can provide additional income.

7. Farmers can sell fingerlings when prices are highest.


Paddy preparation

Transplanting rice

Apply Sumithion to kill predators d.25 mg/sq m

Stock with 2-week old fingerlings at 10/sq m

Monitor fingerling growth by weighing, done in weekly intervals. Maintain water depth at 7-10 cm in the paddy.

Harvest the fingerlings. Condition them in hapa before selling, or stock them for further growth.

Note: Apply pesticides for the rice crop only if needed. Malathion (suggested rate 27 ml/1000 sq m) has been shown to cause the least harm to fish. Deweed along paddy embankments to remove breeding places of and sheiter for predators.


1.Paddy soil should have good water - holding capacity

2. Common carp is recommended for stoking:

- spawns earlier;
- fries are available at the same time as “boro” rice transplantation
- hardy fish

Tilapia can also be stocked.

3. Fish have higher survival rates in smaller paddies.

4. It possible, use fry (instead of hatchlings) for stocking because they have higher survival rates.

5. Use of supplementary feed, like fine bran or wheat bran, can help increase fingerling production at very minimum cost.

6. To reduce risks of paddy field drying out, use treadle pumps.

Production details between stock of fry and hatchlings (based on 1,320 sq m paddy).



Stocking rate/sq m



Stocking (#)



Survival rate (%)



Growth Cycle (days)



Yield (#)



Partial budget for common carp fingerling production in boro paddy (based on 1,320 sq m paddy).






Fry costs at Tk. 0.08/u



-Hatchlings cost at Tk. 00875/unit



-Family Labor


-Interest on operating cost (16% per annum)



Income Return

(Fingerlings Tk. 0.5/unit)






Comparative budget and income from 3 systems: rice; rice and common-carp hatchlngs' and, rice and common carp fry.

Rice only

Rice and Hatchilngs

Rice and Fry

· Rice production










Irrigation charges

(Tk. 500/bigha)




Interest on operating costs16% per annum(1.33 % /day)








Return for Rice




· Fingerling Production:

Fingerlings (Tk. 0.50/pc.)






Family Labor

Interest on operating costs16% per annum (1.33% day



Income NA




Return for Fish




Return for Plot




Records from CARE/ODA/BRAC Rice/Fish Pilot Project. Rangpur 1991

1 US$ = Taka 38

1,320 sq m = 1 bigha, a standard area measurement used in Bangladesh.