Assessing potential nutritional and household economic benefits of developing integrated farming systems.

Improved farm household nutrition and a stronger economy are among the principal intended benefits of integrated farming systems based on fish culture. Paradoxically, no controllell research has been conducted to assess the extent to which these intended benefits occur in practice. In this paper the authors present a simple field use methodology for estimating these nutritional and economic benefits, using survey and secondary statistical data from Ghana to model outcomes. Results of this study demonstrate that (fie addition of a vegetable field and pond to the farming systems modeled would have improved household nutrition directly, and especially indirectly through a dramatic increase in household cash incomes. In the 14 farming systems modeled, household cash incomes rose between 229 and 697%. This increase was attributable mostly to vegetable production; the contribution of cultured fish was only 2 to 4%, depending on pond size. An analysis of protein, carbohydrate, proximate minerals and vitamin content showed that nutritional levels of the first three components were improved marginally with the addition of a pond and vegetable field, whereas vitamin supply was improved significantly.


Ruddle, K., Prein, M. (1998)
Integrated fish farming