Chinese embankment fish culture
Embankment fish culture, along with bamboo and mulberry culture, is being practiced in the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta areas of central and south China for centuries. Originally, the delta was just a waterlogged area. Farmers dug and moved soil, piling them into huge rectangular or round shapes and utilized them for planting crops. The excavated areas became deeper, making them ideal for fish culture. The embankments are wide enough where mulberry, bamboo, etc., can be grown (see Figures 1& 2). The mud is scraped from the bottom of the pond and applied as fertilizer to the embankment 2-5 times annually at a rate of 750-1,125 t/ha.
MULBERRY PLOT-FISH POND. In this system, the mulberry leaves are used as feed for silkworms. The sericulture provides a large variety of feeds and fertilizers for fish farming.
It has been determined that 36,700 kg/ha of mulberry leaves can be produced which can yield 2,700 kg of cocoons and 18,400-18,750 kg of silkworm excrete and silkworm sloughs (molted skins). The silkworm excrete can both serve as feed and fertilizer for fish. The cocoons contain 80% pupae by weight. The feed conversion ratio of pupae to fish is 2:1 such that 2 kg of pupae can produce 1 kg of fish. All the feeds and manure from silkworm farming can support a good fish yield; the cycling process of the silkworm wastes is illustrated in Figure 3. The suggested stocking in "mulberry plot-fish pond" is listed in table 1.
Stocking for mulberry plot-fish pond.
BAMBOO PLOT-FISH POND. The produce from bamboo farming is mainly bamboo shoots. Zhangchai Township, Fusan, Guangdong province has long been processing canned bamboo shoots. It is estimated that 25-30% of the wastes and by-products could be used for fish farming. Wastes and by-products from a 1 ha harvest of bamboo shoots can produce about 500 kg of fish.
A modest estimate from the farmers of Zhangchai Township shows that bamboo production per hectare ranges between 22,500 - 26,250 annually. But when shoot production is over, the farmers harvest the old bamboo poles, totalling 52,500-67,500 kg/ha. These can be used as firewood, construction materials for livestock pens or support materials for climbing plants
The mud from the bottom of the pond provides a tremendous amount of compound fertilizer for the bamboo plot. In shoot production, 6,000 kg/ha of pond mud, 168 kg N. 109 kg P and 150 kg K are needed, but one fourth from the pond mud is more than sufficient to supply the needed nutrients. So, the mud nutrition cannot be fully absorbed by the plants. The farmers in Zhangchai Township realize that the shoot production is 20-30% higher in the pond plot than in hilly areas, probably because of good ventilation in between plants and adequate water and fertilizer supply. Mud application moreover impedes the growth of wild plants and improves the soil quality. "Bamboo plot-fish pond" stocking rates is illustrated in Figure 5. Table 2 shows the farming calendar in fish-sericulture-bamboo production.
Prepared by: MIN KUAN HONG & HU BAOTONG
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