"The Rice- Fishing Farming System can not only bring higher crop and water productivity, but has potential to answer the food security question in some areas of the country. Discuss"
Rice cum fish farming is a type of co-culture system in agriculture where paddy cultivation is integrated with aquaculture like fish, prawns, crabs, etc. According to FAO-GEF, it is considered as a “Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System”. The system has many benefit regarding social, economic, and environmental development.
The system has several environmental benefits like reduction of soil degradation; restores soil fertility thus serving as a low input system requiring fewer fertilizers and pesticides; increases the economic efficiency of the farmers; income generation, etc. Apart from that it also helps in maintaining food security in India.
Food security ensures adequate food supply to the people of a nation, especially to the deprived section. It also provides adequate nutrition. Food security has been a major concern in India since the British rule. India lags far behind in terms of quality protein-rich food development i.e. eggs, meat, fish, chicken, etc. at affordable prices
- Rice, an important food grain, roughly feeds a significant proportion of India’s population. Rice cum fish farming practices is an important step to meet the needs.
- It maximizes the utilization of land and water resources to provide both grain and animal protein.
- The production rate in the rice-fish system is 10 to 15% higher, labor input 19 to 20% lower and material inputs are 7% lower.
- The economic status of farmers has been improved and it attracts more involvement in the agriculture sector.
- Fish production also increased.
The Rice- Fishing Farming practices play an important role in preserving biodiversity, ensuring food security, enriching soil fertility, and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
Despite having so many benefits, only 0.23 million hector od land is currently under rice-fish culture. This is due to the introduction of high yielding rice varieties island the rapid use of pesticides that has really impeded the culture of rice-fish farming. To protect India’s food security, the sector needs special attention.
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