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Polyculture project launched in Myanmar

Staff Writer |
A new project that aims to improve the productivity, profitability and development outcomes of systems that combine the culture of fish and rice in Mayanmar has been launched by WorldFish.

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The ACIAR-funded project, "Development of rice fish systems in the Ayeyarwady Delta," will involve input from WorldFish and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), as well as the Myanmar Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.

By bringing the skills and knowledge of rice and fish scientists together it seeks to encourage a more integrated approach to improving the benefits for farmers and fishers from the rice-fish system as a whole.

Rice-fish systems are diverse, spanning capture fisheries and aquaculture, with fish and rice growing concurrently in rice fields and canals or, alternatively, fish raised between rice crops.

The systems are common in many South and Southeast Asian countries, as well as in some areas of Africa.

WorldFish has developed several approaches to increasing fish production and productivity in rice-fish systems.

In northwest Bangladesh, culturing carp species and mola in homestead ponds connected to rice fields led to a 3.5-fold increase in total fish production compared to stand-alone ponds, as well as a higher nutritional quality of the production.

In Cambodia, improved governance and management of community fish refuges have led to increased fish production and fish species diversity in the surrounding flooded rice fields, resulting in increased fish consumption in the communities.


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