The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Japan signed a funding agreement towards the implementation of a three-year project to strengthen the fisheries and rice Cultivation sectors in Liberia.
The project seeks to address the challenges confronting fisheries, through a well-coordinated, stakeholder-driven approach, support local rice production improvement, and promote the integration of agri-aquaculture production in rice fields.
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More on rice and aquaculture
Maintaining the diversity of integrated rice and fish production confers adaptability of food systems to global change
The transformation toward more sustainable and equitable food systems is a foundation of the Sustainable Development Goals, directly for the second goal “Zero Hunger” and as a critical enabler of many of the other goals. To reshape food systems to meet the environmental, economic, and social challenges of sustainability, we must shift away from a narrow productivity focus that dominated previous “revolutions” in agriculture, aquaculture, and fisheries.
Mending Asia’s broken rice bowls
Rich in natural resources, including fertile land, abundant water, and a wealth of biodiversity, coastal deltas across the tropics serve many nations as “breadbaskets” or “rice bowls.” Such is the case for Asia’s Ganges and Mekong River deltas, two of the world’s largest. Providing livelihoods for rural people, they also produce nutritious food (rice, fruit, fish, and shrimp) for hundreds of millions of consumers.
Yet, both deltas face a wide array of threats—from storm surges to water pollution. Like other tropical deltas, the Ganges and Mekong are particularly vulnerable to these hazards because of high population density, entrenched poverty, and heavy dependence on natural resources for livelihoods. Arguably, these deltas have neared a tipping point, beyond which damage to key ecological services will become irreparable, fraying the fabric of rural life and adding momentum to already high levels of outmigration.
A rice-fish system is an integrated rice field or rice field/pond complex, where fish are grown concurrently or alternately with rice. Fish may be deliberately stocked (fish culture), or may enter fields naturally from surrounding water ways when flooding occurs (rice field fisheries), or a bit of both. Fish yields can range widely from of 1.5 to 174 kg/ha/season depending on the type of rice fish system, the species present, and the management employed.
Rice-fish systems allow the production of fish and other aquatic animals, from the same rice field area and generally without causing reductions in rice yields. This source of animal protein may be important for household nutrition and farm income