Global population is forecast to reach around 9 billion by 2050. To feed the world, global agricultural output must increase by around 60% from present levels. This must be achieved against a background of increasing competition for natural resources such as water, feed ingredients and farming sites.
Maintaining environmental integrity while massively increasing food production will require farming systems to reduce their unit production environmental footprint. Many farming practices that are regarded as sustainable today will not be acceptable when scaled up. Sustainable intensification of aquaculture means doing more with less. The Sustainable Farming Systems Programme aims to help aquaculture become a more efficient user of natural resources, both in terms of farm productivity and environmental efficiency.
The programme develops better management practices for major aquaculture farming systems, and promotes aquaculture as a secondary or additional use of water resources. The programme focusses on practical interventions that can be directly achieved by small-scale farmers in a developing country context.
Key activities of the programme are:
Development of better management practices for key aquaculture production systems.
Organising small-scale farmers into associations to facilitate cluster-based approaches to extension.
Development of culture-based fisheries as a secondary use of water bodies.
Development of strategic policy frameworks to guide governments and development agencies in promoting sustainable intensification of aquaculture.
The first ever Regional Training Course on Culture-based Fisheries in Inland Waters was held at Nha Trang University from 30 October to 8 November. The objective of the course was to provide participants with the skills to assist local communities to plan and manage culture-based fisheries. These practices are an example of a relatively simple and low cost technology that can deliver nutritional and economic benefits to rural communities, which often have few livelihood options.
In the north-east hill region of India, integrated fish farming is one of the best alternatives for improving livelihoods as most of the houses in rural areas have access to ponds and livestock. Among livestock, pigs are a popular choice, particularly for the tribal population of the region, who account for a major portion of the population. Pigs can fit into diverse systems of management, and can be reared on a wide variety of waste materials.
Each year, the Sustainable Rice Platform brings together its members and dialogue partners to discuss collaborative approaches and innovative solutions to critical sustainability challenges facing the rice sector. This year, the SRP will convene the First Global Sustainable Rice Conference and Exhibition, from 4-5 October in Bangkok, Thailand.
The China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance will convene Asia Pacific Aquaculture Expo (June 30-July 2, 2017) and Global Aquaculture Summit (June 29-July 1, 2017) in Fuzhou City, China. The Asia Pacific Aquaculture Expo is the only aquaculture themed exhibition in China, covering the whole industry chain from feed, seed, to machinery and products, while the Global Aquaculture Summit is China's top aquaculture conference and enjoys a high level of international participation.
Inspiring story of aquaculture in Sikkim - a journey from conservation to farming; farming of scampi and tiger shrimp together - a case study from West Bengal; Labeo pangusia - a candidate for diversification of hill aquaculture; sustainability of an integrated livestock-fish-crop farming system as a small scale enterprise; sustainable coastal aquaculture in India; potential scope and prospects of domestic fish market in Chhattisgarh.
We examined the sustainability and economic viability of a model integrated livestock-fish-crop farming system developed by the Fisheries Research Centre, Assam Agricultural University, over an extended period of 13 years. The system was developed as an ecologically sustainable alternative technology for small and margin farmers. It incorporates two livestock components, pig and poultry, with horticulture and carp polyculture. Analysis of cash flow and benefit-cost ration revealed the system to be economically sustainable over the long term.
Culture-based fisheries (CBF) are often conducted in small water bodies, perennial and or seasonal, that retain water for at least six to eight months of the year. CBF are stock enhancement practices in water bodies that are generally incapable of supporting sustainable fisheries through self-recruiting fish populations, and where the stock is managed and owned, either individually and or collectively. Feed is rarely added and the stock are left to forage on natural foods.
Improvements to fish yield in small water bodies as well as to the incomes and nutritional status of rural communities have been demonstrated. in Laos, Sri Lanka and Vietnam but culture-based fisheries practices are not yet widespread, despite having significant potential in tropical climates. A project to introduce culture-based fisheries to Cambodia is described. Participating communities reported improved catch per unit effort, an increase in the number of people engaged in fishing and lower food costs.