Author(s): Hu L, Zhang J, Ren W, Guo L, Cheng Y,
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Abstract Because rice feeds half of the world's population, a secure global food supply depends on sustainable rice production. Here we test whether the co-cultivation of rice and fish into one "rice-fish system" (RFS; fish refers to aquatic animals in this article) could help sustain rice production. We examined intensive and traditional RFSs that have been widely practiced in China. We found that rice yields did not decrease when fish yield was below a threshold value in each intensive RFS. Below the thresholds, moreover, fish yields in intensive RFSs can be substantially higher than those in traditional RFS without reducing rice yield. Relative to rice monoculture, the use of fertilizer-nitrogen and pesticides decreased, and the farmers' net income increased in RFSs. The results suggest that RFSs can help sustain rice production, and suggest that development of co-culture technologies (i.e. proper field configuration for fish and rice) is necessary to achieve the sustainability.
This article was published in Sci Rep
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development