Integrated farming of fish and livestock is an old practice consisting of the culture of fish (or shrimp) associated with the husbandry of domesticated animals such as pigs, ducks, chicken, etc. Integrated farming is traditional in Asia, especially in China and is now also applied in Europe and, on a small scale, in Africa and some Latin American countries.
Intensive-scale aquaculture is now considered as a source of pollution due to the release of organic matter into the rivers. This is particularly the case of trout farms. Excessive use of fertilizers will lead to eutrophication of inland and coastal waters. There is a possibility of recycling organic wastes, manures and farm effluents in fish ponds. The end product is an improved production of animal protein, particularly needed in developing countries.
The aim of integrated farming is: Recycling of animal wastes (feces, urine and spoiled feeds) to serve as fertilizers, and sometimes as food for fish raised in ponds, enclosures and cages. According to Olah (1986), the amount of organic matter which can be recycled in ponds as fertilizers is up to 5g cm 2 d -1, corresponding to 100 kg of dry manure ha -1 d -1 and the expected production in polyculture may reach 30 kg ha -1 d -1 without feeding the fish. Such a yield is much higher than classical animal production on land.
According to Pillay (1990), the basic principles involved in integrated farming are the utilization of the synergetic effects of inter-related farm activities, and the conservation, including the full utilization of farm wastes. It is based on the concept that there is no waste, and waste is only a misplaced resource which can become a valuable material for another product (FAO, 1977).
To minimize wastes from the various subsystems on the farm: wastes or by-products from each subsystem are used as inputs to other subsystems to improve the productivity and lower the cost of production of the outputs of the various subsystems (Edwards et al., 1986). Integrated fish farming is generally considered particularly relevant to benefit the rural poor.
Play a role in increasing employment opportunities, nutrition and income of rural populations. Besides many developing countries of Asia, some in Africa (Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Zambia) and South America (Brazil, Ecuador, Panama) have introduced this system on a pilot or larger scale. Some of the East European countries (Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland) have expanded and improved the practice of integrating animal production with fish culture (Pillay, 1990).
Simultaneous production of fish in ponds, with pigs, duck or chicken rearing in pens, beside or over the ponds constitutes a continuous organic fertilization of the pond by the livestock. This practice increases the efficiency of both livestock farming and fish culture through the profitable utilization of animal and feed wastes (Vincke, 1988).
1 Poultry Farming 2- Duck farming 3- Cattle Farming 4- Goat Farming 5- Rabbit Farming 6- Sericulture 7- Honey Bee keeping 8- Pig Cum Fish Culture 9- Rice Cum Fish Culture
The highest productions obtained so far in integrated fish farming are with pigs, ducks and chicken, a very widespread technique in Asia (Edwards et al., 1986). Fish farmers also integrate geese, rabbits, goats, sheep, cattle and the water buffalo with fish culture, on a smaller scale. The main fish species are common carp, the Chinese and Indian carps and Oreochromis niloticus. Other species such as Pangasius sp., Clarias gariepinus hybrid of tilapia, grey mullet and eels are also raised, mainly in polyculture. Stocking densities and species composition vary considerably from system to system and sometimes from country to country, depending upon several factors.
Pigs are reared in pens or sties built on the banks of the fish ponds (and wastes are washed out) or constructed over the ponds on piles or wooden stilts and have a lattice type of floor (allowing wastes to fall directly into the pond). The number of pigs per ha of ponds area varies from 40 to 300. However, the number of piglets recommended is generally 100 per ha (or 1 piglet per 100 m 2 of pond).
In China fish ponds stocked with 60,000 fingerlings per ha (average weight 20–30g) of different species raised together with about 45–75 pigs/ha produced between 2–18 t. of fish and 4–7 t. of pigs per ha/year (Pillay, 1990). In some African countries, ponds stocked with T. niloticus at a rate of 20,000 fingerlings/ha, the combined production can reach 8,000 kg (8 t) of fish and 6,000 to 9,000 kg (6–9t) of pigs per ha/year (Vincke, 1976).
The combination of duck -cum- fish farming is considered as a means of reducing the cost of feed for ducks and a convenient and inexpensive way of fertilizing ponds for the production of fish (Pillay, 1990). Ponds provide living and foraging areas for the ducks and fish. Ducks are reared in shelters built on the banks of the ponds or sometimes built on floating platforms. Ducks are known to eliminate almost all the snails in ponds in depths of up to 30–40 cm, thus controlling the immediate host of bilharziasis.
Ducks are reared at different densities, depending on the climatic conditions, the method of raising, water quality, and other factors. In Eastern Europe 150–500 duckling are stocked per ha of pond; in Asia between 750 and 4,000 ducklings are stocked per ha, and in Africa and Latin America, 1,000 to 1,500 duckling are stocked per ha. In Hong Kong, in a system with 2,500–3,500 ducks/ha/year integrated with the polyculture of Chinese carps, 5–6 t. of duck meat and 2,750–5,640 kg/ha/year of fish has been produced (Delmendo, 1980).
In Taiwan, approximately 3.5 t/ha/year of fish have been achieved by raising 1,500 ducks/ha (Chen and Li, 1980). Raising 1,000–2,000 ducks/ha on ponds in Vietnam, increased the average fish yield to 5 t/ha/year from 1 t/ha/year without ducks (Delmendo, 1980). In Hungary, a yield of 1.6 – 2 t/ha/year of fish is obtained in polyculture of Chinese carps and common carp integrated with 500 ducks/ha. In the Central African Republic, ponds stocked with O. nilotius (20,000 fingerlings/ha) and Clarias gariepinus (100 fingerlings/ha), combined with 1,500 Peking ducks/ha have produced 3.8–4.5 t of fish/ha/year and between 4–6 t/ha/year of ducks (Vincke, 1976).
The integrated farming of chickens and fish is only practised in a few countries in Asia (Philippines, China, Indonesia, Thailand). Trials of chicken integrated with fish farming have also been conducted in Africa, in Latin America and in the USA. Chicken are reared in pens beside or over the ponds, in the traditional way, in roughly the same conditions as ducks, generally at a density of 1,000 to 6,000 chickens/ha. In Philippines, in fish polyculture (O. niloticus, common carp and snakeheads with broilers (up to 5,000/ha), yield of about 7.3 t of fish/ha/year was obtained (Little and Muir, 1987).
According to Pillay (1990), the culture of geese integrated with fish farming is practiced in East European countries and in Hong Kong. Geese have also been raised more extensively on fish ponds in Thailand in Madagascar (Vincke, 1976). The geese are fattened in sheds build over the ponds. A slanting platform extends from the shed into the pond to allow the geese to enter a fenced area of the pond. In Hong Kong, in polyculture of grey mullet (38%), grass carp (23%), common carp (21%), silver carp (9%) and bighead carp (9%), at a stocking rate of 12,2000 fish/ha, integrated with geese (4,000 to 4,500 geese/ha), yields of 3.69 t/ha/year of fish and 2.25 t of geese (live weight)/ha/year were obtained (Sin, 1980).
Small ruminants such as goats and sheep are integrated with fish culture. Integrated cattle-fish farming is practiced in some of the farms in China and Vietnam. In Vietnam, using a polyculture of Chinese carps and common carp combined with about 30 dairy cattle stalled near the pond, fish yields of 6 to 8 t/ha/year were achieved. In Israel, a mixed age polyculture of carp and tilapia was experimentally integrated with 57 dairy cows, over the 126 day rearing period to nearly 400 cows/ha of fish pond. Fish yields of over 30 kg/ha/year were observed, equivalent to t/ha/year (Little and Muir, 1987).
It has been proposed for small scale farmers to integrate the water buffalo with fish farming at a ratio of about 85 buffaloes/ha of fish pond. The expected fish yield would be around 17.5 t/ha/year. Integrated rabbit-fish farming is practiced only on a very small scale. This system has up to now not received much attention, except in Cameroon (where the Africans consider the rabbits as pelleting machines) and in Ecuador and Thailand, on an experimental basis. A pigeon-fish system is also practiced on a very small scale in Hong Kong (Sin, 1980), but no information is available on this integrated system.
The commercial aquaculture enterprises focus on the production of expensive luxury species for export, and thus fish are not for local consumption. To resolve the persistent and widespread malnutrition in developing countries, it is absolutely necessary to increase the availability of animal products, at prices that the masses can afford. The potential exists in many developing countries but more research is needed if the development of integrated livestock-fish farming systems is to be enhanced.
Socio-cultural factors should be given due consideration together with the economic and technical feasibility studies. Successful trials and demonstrations have been carried out in developing countries, but more comparative feasibility studies on the economics of the different livestock-fish farming systems have to be conducted, analyzed and published. On-farm tests are of particular interest and should be planned and implemented to generate the information that is now lacking.
The integrated farming systems are potentially important in raising the income level as well as the standard of living of small-scale farmers. Most of the farmers are lacking technical knowledge which must be remedied by realistic technical assistance. Reliable quantitative production and management guidelines are yet to be generated, recorded and disseminated to serve as a baseline for development programmes.
Rice-based Integrated Fish Farming Systems in the Northeast India
In the third world countries, some billion people are supported by agricultural systems characterized by modern technologies brought about by the Green Revolution. These systems utilize good soils and usually have reliable access to water. However, these systems are not applicable to the billion ( %) people living in rainfed, undulating and mountainous areas, which are largely untouched by modern technologies. Their agricultural systems are complex and diverse, and are located in the humid and subhumid areas, the hills and mountains and the dry lands of uncertain rainfall.
Integrated Farming System (IFS) is based on the concept that there is no waste, and waste is only a misplace resource which can become a valuable material for another product (Edwards et al., 1986).
Diverse and complex agricultural systems, About 63% rainfed agricultural area, Indigenous plant, animal and fish resources, Existing agro-biodiversity, Availability of animal manure including crop residues and high biomass production for clean food production.
Rice-fish integration Rice-Livestock farming including poultry and duckery. Rice-fish-azolla farming Multipurpose trees and shrubs Variety of other crops like seasonal vegetables, medicinal herbs, and potential wild edibles.