Integrated Rice-Fish Farming: Safeguarding Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Food Production in the Mekong Delta
2012 (English)In: Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, ISSN 1044-0046, Vol. 36, no 8, 859-872 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A comparison of agricultural practices, with a specific focus on pesticide use, between rice and rice-fish farmers in the Can Tho' and Tien Giang provinces of the Mekong Delta in 2007, shows that integrated rice-fish farming can provide a competitive alternative to intensive rice mono-cropping, if the farmer restricts the use of pesticides and takes full advantage of the ecosystem services provided by the rice-field ecosystem. In Can Tho', rice-fish farmers had significantly higher income (43.6 million dong ha(-1) year(-1)) than other farmer groups, while this was not seen among rice-fish famers in Tien Giang (32.4 million dong ha(-1) year(-1)), which partly could be due to a high use of insecticides (0.9 kg active ingredient ha(-1) crop(-1)) and comparatively low fish yield among these farmers. The study emphasizes the need to rethink current agricultural systems and to provide opportunities for more diverse systems that maintain and enhance a range of ecosystem services and protect human health. Future production systems should not be optimized to only provide a single ecosystem service, such as rice, but designed to deliver a variety of interlinked ecosystem service such as rice, fish, pest control, and nutrient recycling.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 36, no 8, 859-872 p.
rice-fish farming, pesticides, ecosystem services, biodiversity, Mekong Delta, agroecosystem
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-82977DOI: 10.1080/10440046.2012.712090ISI: 000310148200002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-82977DiVA: diva2:575191