Grass-fish in China and Northern Vietnam
China has a long and rich history of integrated fish farming. Written records from the first and second centuries B.C. documented the integration of aquatic plant cultivation and fish farming. Integrated fish systems, using grass and aquatic plants as fish feeds, are commonly found in many parts of China and Northern Vietnam. These systems are particularly predominant in the irrigated lowland areas of the Changjiang, Pearl and Yangtze River basins. Many of these farms are large, communal ones with cooperative or collective farming.
Grass species, which can easily be produced on the farm, can serve as low-cost supplemental feeds for fish. Commonly cultured fish species, which can feed directly or indirectly on grass, include grass, silver, bighead and common carps. Grass can be grown along pond boundaries and fed directly to fish. Grass species commonly used include rye, Sudan and napier grasses.
Napier is also a common feed for cows in Vietnam.
Fish feed in Northern Vietnam Fodder for cows in Vietnam
Soil erosion in the Philippines
Present estimates suggest that, of 13 million hectares of alienable land in the Philippines, some 9 million are degraded. This major long-term problem can be overcome only by ensuring that farmers in susceptible areas adopt cropping patterns capable of maintaining, and even improving, the fertility of the soil and also construct and maintain effective physical barriers to soil erosion. In the Philippines, the preferred method of soil erosion control broadly consists of planting leguminous trees or shrubs (Leucaena leucocephala or Gliricidia sp.), or strong-bodied fodder grasses such as Napier grass, on contours.
Fodder for water buffaloes in the Philippines
- Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. www.aciar.gov.au
- E. Dongmeza, S. Steinbronn, G. Francis, U. Focken, K. Becker. 2009. Investigations on the nutrient and antinutrient content of typical plants used as fish feed in small scale aquaculture in the mountainous regions of Northern Vietnam. Animal Feed Science and Technology [online], Volume 149, Issue 1, Pages 162-178. Available: http://www.animalfeedscience.com/article/S0377-8401(08)00146-6/abstract
- FAO/ICLARM/IIRR. 2001. Integrated agriculture-aquaculture: a primer. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 407. Rome, FAO. 149p.
- Tropical Grassland Society of Australia Inc. (TGS) http://www.tropicalgrasslands.asn.au
- Yang, H., Fang, Y., and Chen, Z., 2001. Integrated grass-fish farming systems in China. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 407. Rome, FAO. Available: http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/Y1187E/y1187e08.htm [accessed 22 February 2010]