Integrated floating cage aquageoponics system (IFCAS): An innovation in fish and vegetable production for shaded ponds in Bangladesh


AbstractFarmer participatory action research was carried out from July to December 2013 to design and construct a technology known as IFCAS (integrated floating cage aquageoponics system) for growing fish and vegetables in shaded ponds in the Barisal region of Bangladesh under the EU funded ANEP (Agriculture and Nutrition Extension Project). Here the terms aqua, geo and ponics means pond water, pond mud/soil and cultivation, respectively. Producing and regularly harvesting fish in shaded ponds and growing vegetables on surrounding dykes for household consumption was constrained. To overcome the difficulties, an IFCAS (3.66m×2.44m=9m2) was set in each of 9 shaded ponds – 5 highly shaded ponds (HSP) and 4 moderately shaded ponds (MSP) – in which GIFT tilapia strain (Orechromis niloticus) was stocked at the rate of 100m−3 cage. In the ponds, carp species (Catla catla, Labeo rohita, Cirrhinus cirrhosus and Cyprinus carpio) were stocked at the ratio of 1:2:2:1, and at the rate of 14,820ha−1. Tilapia were fed floating feed and the carp were fed with supplementary feed. Vegetables were grown on the IFCAS scaffold, and tilapia were grown in the net-cage constructed underneath. Women members of HSP households participated fully in the action research in the production of vegetables and fish in IFCAS. Participating households started consuming vegetables and tilapia from IFCAS within 1.5 and 1 month of the start of the experiment, respectively. Average fish consumption of 20kghousehold−1 was recorded within four months, of which more than 50% was tilapia from IFCAS. Overall fish and vegetable production was higher in MSP as compared to HSP. A financial analysis showed the benefit-cost ratio of IFCAS was >1, indicating the investment efficiency of IFCAS for farmers

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