Fishponds on small-scale farms


Fishponds facilitate natural resources management on small-scale farms in tropical developing countries.

A redefinition of the objectives for aquaculture development in tropical developing countries is presented. The common rationale to justify aquaculture development is that of fish production per se as a stand-alone enterprise. Efforts to link fish culture with livestock production by small-scale resource-poor farmers have not worked well because technology packages were proposed which did not consider their perspectives and resources. An alternative view is presented here, in which all the natural resources that can be managed by the fanner are considered. The fishpond, in most cases a newly introduced enterprise, can be integrated into on-going farm activities, relying largely on on-farm residues as pond inputs. In such farm systems, the fishpond can have a pivotal role in supporting other activities, e.g. water for dry-season gardening of vegetables, and increased production of existing crops with pond mud used for fertilization of nutrient-depleted fields. Farmers understand the importance and the benefits of improved management of their natural resources. This can be facilitated by small fishponds. They are entry points to better management of natural resources and are also environmental assets.

See the text: WorldFish

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.