Information on subject areas contained in this item was requested by DCFRN Participants in Argentina, Bangladesh, Burundi, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Liberia, Maldives, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Republic of China (Taiwan), Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, and Uruguay.
Presenter: George Atkins
Interviewee: Wung Ing Gen, a farmer, An Yuan Commune, Ninghua County, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China
Interpreter: Lei Qi Shi, Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Fuzhou, People’s Republic of China
1. The information in this item is only applicable to farmers who grow rice in small, shallow water paddy fields. It was obtained in an interview with a rice grower beside his paddy field in China. Fish could not be raised, of course, in paddy fields where poison chemical pesticides are used that would be harmful to fish or to people who eat them. (A warning to this effect is included in the item.)
2. Re: interpreting/translating this information for farmers you serve: The Chinese land measure unit is the “mu” (pronounced “moo”). It is unlikely that this unit will be known by
the farmers you serve. I therefore urge you to go over the information carefully before using it and be sure that units you use will be in terms familiar to your farmers. Throughout the manuscript, metric and/or imperial measures appear in brackets. The farmer being interviewed speaks only Chinese so all English language answers to questions are provided by the interpreter. In most cases, I repeat the information in somewhat different wording. I have done this to emphasize the essential information from the interview as clearly as possible to pass on to your farmers. (G.A.)
3. Before using the information in this item, please read the notes at the end concerning related DCFRN items.
We at this radio station are part of a worldwide information network that gathers farming information from developing countries all over the world. It’s the Developing Countries Farm Radio Network, sponsored by Massey Ferguson and the University of Guelph, and financially supported by the Canadian International Development Agency and by many interested Canadians.
Through this Network, we bring you information on ways to increase food supplies for your family, or to sell—ways that other farmers have used successfully.
Today our subjects are rice and fish—both together. Here’s George Atkins.
Professor Ni Dashu of the Institute of Hydrology in the Chinese Academy of Science says that when farmers do this, their rice plants are stronger and produce up to one-third more rice (actually from 10% to 37% increase).
In Fujian Province I visited Wung Ing Gen, a farmer in Ninghua County who raises fish in his paddy field. Through my interpreter, Lei Qi Shi, he told me the advantages of doing this.
The fourth advantage is you can improve your living standard because the fish can be eaten as meat. So there are four advantages altogether.
Now as we stood near Mr. Wung’s paddy field, I first asked about feed for the fish. He told me it’s actually the same as the plant food for the two rice crops he grows in his paddy field each year.
As we walked over to see the fish in Mr. Wung’s paddy field, we passed some small ponds. When I asked what they were, he told me they are where his adult fish spawn and where he rears the young fish each year. He doesn’t have to buy young fish every year because he raises his own. We’ll talk about how he does that another day on this program.
When we reached the paddy field, Mr. Wung told me that the size of it is 2 mu or just less than 1/7 of a hectare (2/15 hectare or 1/3 acre). There were lots of fish swimming around among the growing rice plants. They were grass carp and Chinese carp. He told me that he doesn’t put these fish into the paddy field until about a month after new rice seedlings have been planted.
Now just for a moment, let’s think again about why Mr. Wung raises fish in his paddy field. Remember he said:
* that they help control insects
* that they loosen the soil, thus helping to control weeds, and
* that their droppings help to fertilize the soil. All those things, Professor Ni Dashu says, can result in rice production increases of up to 1/3 (33%).
The fourth advantage is, of course, the crop of fish for eating or to sell. And how big do those fish grow to be?
Serving Agriculture, the Basic Industry, this is George Atkins.
1. This is the first of two items in this package on the subject of raising fish in the paddy field. Please use the information in Item 13 (Part 1) and in Item 14 (Part 2) in the proper sequence.
2. This item deals with two different types of agricultural enterprises that can be carried on at the same time. They are raising fish and growing rice in small, shallow water paddy fields. Each helps the other, thus saving and making more money for the farm family.
3. Mr. Wung Ing Gen who was interviewed for the information in this item indicated that he also intended to try raising ducks in his paddy field. This is a subject that was dealt with in another DCFRN item, one which you might consider using in association with this item. It is:
Raising ducks in the paddy field – DCFRN Package 11, Item 5.
4. You might also like to use the information contained in other DCFRN items that address rice growing, at the same time as this one:
A ‘Dapog’ saves time for rice growers – DCFRN Package 3, Item 4.
Fertilizer made with rice straw – DCFRN Package 6, Item 5.
Improving the field crops you grow by selection – DCFRN Package 9, Item 6.
Improving rice yield without buying fertilizer- DCFRN Package 12, Item 5.
Growing soybeans on dikes in paddy fields – DCFRN Package 14, Item 9.
5. For your information, the equivalences for the units of measure in this item are the following:
15 “mu” = 1 hectare (1 mu = 1/15th of a hectare)
6 “mu” = 1 acre (1 mu = 1/6th of an acre)
1. Wung Ing Gen, République Populaire de Chine.
Additional sources of information
1. DCFRN participant Shawn Taylor, a SUCO co-worker in Thailand.
2. Integrated Agriculture Aquaculture Systems. ICLARM. Conference notes 4 (1980, 258 pages) edited by the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM), Manila, Philippines. http://pubs.iclarm.net/resource_centre/WF_214.pdf
3. Proceedings of a joint workshop on Aquaculture. South China Sea Fisheries Program (1977). http://www.fao.org/docrep/field/003/AC015E/AC015E00.htm