Rice Fish Farming Culture And Its Importance
Rapid human increase poses many challenges, especially food shortages, malnutrition, limited means of irrigation and shrinking natural resources besides deteriorating environmental quality. Sustainable intensification of agricultural production systems is required today to deal with the ever-increasing pressure on food and therefore, the environment.
Rice, a crucial grain, roughly feeds 50 per cent of the planet population. It’s been identified as a severe crop consuming vast chunks of available water resources while at an equivalent time paddy fields emit a great deal of the greenhouse emission, methane. Thus, solutions got to be sought to enhance the management of rice production systems. Rice-fish farming constitutes a singular agro-landscape across the planet, especially in tropical and sub-subtropical Asia. It is not an agro-production practice but an agro-culture pattern. Co-culture of rice and aquatic creatures including animal production (for example shellfish, fish, crab, shrimp and ducks) in paddy rice systems has been proposed as a way to maximize the utilization of land and water resources to supply both grain and animal protein.
Today, the effect of rice cultivation on the environment, including its effect on greenhouse gases (GHGs) emission, maybe a matter of concern for all folks. Global climate change is closely linked to agricultural production. Two major GHGs from agricultural sectors are methane (CH4) and laughing gas. Methane emission depends on anaerobic degradation of organic complexes like plant residues, organic matter and organic fertilizers under submerged conditions where oxygen is scarce. A total of 10-20 percent of methane within the atmosphere comes from paddy fields. This is often significant because the heating Potential (GWP) of methane is 25 times quite that of CO2.
Research has shown that the rice-fish cultivation system is capable of lowering the emission of methane and other GHGs. Aquatic creatures, especially bottom feeders (crabs and carps) disturb the soil layers by their movement or sometimes checking out the food, and thus they influence the CH4 production processes. Potentially, aquatic creatures increase diluted oxygen in field water and in soil, which shifts anaerobic digestion to aerobic digestion and helps to scale back CH4 emissions. Recently, it’s been estimated that methane emission from the rice-fish cultivation system is 34.6 percent but that from a rice monoculture cultivation system. The method of rice-fish is additionally beneficial to revive soil fertility and avoid soil degradation, which may be a significant global environmental issue. The rice-fish system requires only a little amount of pesticide and fertilizer because it may be a low input system.
The economic aspect of this technique indicates that its adoption has led to a rise in the economic efficiency of farmers. Consistent with a report, in Bangladesh, internet income return from rice-fish culture was over 50 per cent greater than that from rice mono culture. Rice yields from the rice-fish system were 10-26 per cent higher, labor input 19-22 per cent lower and material inputs were seven per cent lower. Moreover, fish production increased net. Indonesian figures show that the rice-fish system yielded a 27 per cent higher net return with fish, as compared to one crop of rice. This method links the aquaculture industry to the agricultural sector in a standard way, which isn’t possible within the case of mono culture. A co-culture program offers a platform for farmers to seek out new ideas and share their knowledge and knowledge to develop the farming and aquaculture industries.
Rice and Fish
With these advantages, farmers are willing to adopt the technology of co-culture because it improves their economic status and is inspired to extend contacts among various stakeholders that provide or share useful skills and technical knowledge. In India, agriculture is the lifeline of the Indian economy and contributes nearly one-fourth of total gross domestic product and sustains two-thirds of the population. This method of Rice-fish co-culture would enhance farm production, reduce environmental degradation and improve the standard of lifetime of farmers.
The total area of land available for rice cultivation in India is 43.5 million hectares (ha), out of which, an estimated 20 million ha is suitable for adoption of the rice-fish integration system mainly in rain-fed medium lands, waterlogged lands etc. Therefore, only 0.23 million ha is currently under rice-fish culture. This low degree of adoption, exploitation and yield is primarily thanks to the introduction of high yielding rice varieties involving the utilization of pesticides that have impeded the culture of rice-fish farming. Rice yield is higher from the co-culture system than mono culture, various studies have shown. Thus, achieving higher productivity from this underutilized high potential area is an immediate need. The method of raising fish from the rice fields probably began with the start of rice cultivation itself within the North East, because the waterlogged rice fields create a natural habitat for fish. It’s assumed that it had been only the essential capture tool that emerged first.
Rice-fish farming within the region has a superb future. Studies in Assam have shown that rice-fish cultivation may be a viable, environmentally friendly, low-cost, low-risk additional economic activity with multiple benefits, including increased income and increased fish availability for the agricultural farming community. The North East region of India is recognized because of the best-suited zone for organic farming thanks to its negligible usage of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals. This present scenario presents a superb opportunity to utilize vast tracts of rice fields to culture a spread of fishes to reinforce fish production within the region.
Rice-fish system in India is in urgent need of conservation and promotion. Full recognition of its multi-ecological functions must be achieved, like its role in preserving biodiversity, protecting food security, enriching the soil and lowering greenhouse emission emissions. In light of this situation of rice-fish farming in India, basic research on the rice-fish ecosystem should be emphasized, including research on basic techniques for rice-fish agriculture and technology required for engineering intervention.
The policymakers should consider the issues of initial investment for poor rural communities and compensate them with farmer-friendly policies, secure loan schemes etc. India’s productive traditional primitive farming is as old as this dual-farming culture, and fish and rice both are the staple food of India. Because the above discussions suggest, the agri-aqua co-culture system is going to be very helpful for the farming community and also safe for the environment.
So with subsequent sowing season accessible, it’s time that the Indian central and state governments recognize the importance of this technique. Apart from reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, co-culture systems have beneficial effects on farm income and improving the livelihood of poor rural people and progressive farmers. Further development during this method within the agricultural sector is potentially profitable and environment-friendly.