6.1 Type of integration
6.2 Basis of combinations of fish, plants and livestock
6.3 Benefits of Integration
6.4 Management of integrated farms

The most impressive aspect of Chinese aquaculture observed by the study group was the integration of fish farming with animal husbandry and the cultivation of agricultural crops, including vegetable cultivation. Integrated agriculture is a tradition. The Chinese practice, as already mentioned, has been supported in recent years by the concept of “development of agriculture, livestock, fishing and other secondary businesses”. Although integrated agriculture is economically and environmentally sound, the motivation for integration seems to lie in national production diversification policies.

6.1 Type of integration

Farmed fish and general farming practices are easy to integrate. Grass carp feed on grass and other plant matter that can be grown on dikes and adjacent farmland. They also feed on aquatic plants that can grow in canals and other adjacent bodies of water. aquatic plants likepoints Stratioten,squirrel sarna,Alternative filoxoridoand lentils, are grown on land to feed fish or pigs and poultry. Sugarcane, corn and bananas are some of the other crops grown in association with the fish farms.Ipomea Agua-,Pacifier perennial,Sorghum, corn, and mulberries are also grown in many areas. Leaves, stems, or other waste products are cut or shredded and fed directly to fish or composted for use as fertilizer. Silver carp and bighead fish feed on plankton, which can be grown with the application of organic fertilizer derived from pigs, cows and chickens raised near fish farms. As already mentioned, pig houses are often built on pond dams, which facilitates manure distribution directly or after fermentation. In some places, duck farming is also practiced along with fish farming. In areas where silk production predominates, blackberries are planted on the dikes of the lagoon. Silkworm pupae and other debris are used to feed the fish. Fish pond sludge is an excellent fertilizer for terrestrial crops and is widely used by farmers. In areas without proper irrigation, the pond water can also be used to water the plants if necessary. Members of the commune or production brigade can also be seen as an element of this type of integration and recycling, as they consume fish and other agricultural products and human waste is used to fertilize ponds and agricultural land.

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Fig. 19 Pigsty erected on the dam of the Chang Chuang Production Brigade Fish Farm

Fig. 20 In the pigsty. The barn clothes are fed into a fermentation tank.

Fig. 21 chickens raised with fish and pigs in Chang Tung People's Commune, near Shanghai

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At the Lin Fu State Fish Farm in Hengyang, farming is closely linked to a winery. The effluent from the winery is sent to fish farming tanks to fertilize and feed the fish, and the solid waste is used to feed the pigs. Fish and wine go to the people, of course! In many places, fish farms are also used to raise freshwater mussels,He is tiredmihiriopsis,to make pearls The methods used are described inFAO Fisheries Technical Paper,WOMAN 168.

Fig. 22 Culture of freshwater mussels for pearl production in a pond at Nanwei County State Fish Farm

The allocation of land and water to fishing, crops and livestock varies. For example, on a state farm, about 60% of the land was used for raising fish, 14% for pigs and cattle, 14% for growing feed, and 10% for growing rice and wheat. .

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Integrated farming experience of this type, accumulated over several years, can be of great value, if critically analyzed and rationalized, for all developing countries interested in integrated rural development. There are many aspects of this agriculture that constitute interesting research topics that, if carried out, could lead to a scientific understanding of the processes involved and, consequently, to a better management of the system.

6.2 Basis of combinations of fish, plants and livestock

About 20,000-25,000 Chin water plants can be produced in each mu of water area, which will be enough to feed ten pigs. A mulberry tree can produce up to 270 Jin leaves. The production of sugarcane leaves is estimated to be up to 12,000 jin per mu of land. It takes over 70 Jin Grass or other plant material to produce 1 Jin Grass Carp and 200 Jin Dung to produce 1 Jin Silver Bighead Carp. Each pig produces 4,000-5,000 jin dung per year, and according to local experience, 3-5 pigs are raised for each mu fishpond. Likewise, 30 chickens are raised for each mu of fish tanks. It is estimated that a cow can produce 1 ton of "water porridge" per day and from there the number of cattle to be raised is calculated. One mu pond will produce 20,000-30,000 jin of silt, and silt from 2 mu ponds will fertilize about 1 mu of land. It should be noted that the above estimates are quite empirical and have not yet been confirmed by critical studies.

6.3 Benefits of Integration

The advantages of integration are obvious. In terms of fish production, its main objective is to provide cheap organic feed and fertilizer for fish ponds, reducing the cost and need to provide compound fish feed and chemical fertilizer. Reducing the cost of fertilizer and feed reduces the total cost of fish production and increases profits. The study group was told that integration typically increases farm profits by 30 to 40 percent. Secondly, the total income is increased by adding pig and/or poultry farming, the production of cereals and vegetables, etc., which complement the income from fish farming. Third, through the production of grains, vegetables, fish, and animal products, the community becomes self-sufficient in terms of food, which contributes to a high level of self-sufficiency. Fourth, the tank sludge used to fertilize crops increases crop productivity at lower cost and greatly reduces the need to purchase chemical fertilizers. It is estimated that about a third of the fertilizer needed for agriculture in the country comes from fish ponds. The production of freshwater pearls in fish ponds provides another additional source of income.

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6.4 Management of integrated farms

Integrated agriculture requires skills in various types of activities, such as pig and poultry farming, crop and vegetable cultivation, grass and aquatic plant cultivation, and fish farming. One person can have 6-8 tanks of 5-7 mu each; o 30-50 pigs, o 500-1000 chickens, but many of the activities, including harvesting, require a large number of people. Of course, if integrated farming is to be practiced on a large scale, enough people with the necessary skills must work together. The organization of brigades and production communes seems very adequate to take charge of the practice. A production team can become a very small unit, as reported in Hengyang, where with the introduction of integrated farming, the organizational and accounting unit at the production brigade level has changed.

As already mentioned, the main motivation for integrated farming is the accepted national policy of integrated development, which does not place much emphasis on the economic benefits of individual farms. The social and political environment of the country is very favorable for such development. The limited experience of some other countries also shows that the introduction of integrated agriculture can play an important role in rural development in developing countries. However, the study group does not believe that the Chinese system as such can be transferred to other countries. The species of fish, crops and livestock to be farmed must be selected based on local conditions and requirements. In most other developing countries, the objectives of integrated agriculture must be closely aligned with economic, social and nutritional benefits. Farm cooperatives or other associations may need to be established to meet the staffing needs of economically viable units. Appropriate pilot projects to test the systems should be designed and implemented, and future development should be planned based on the results of such projects.

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