Photo credit: BE Jean Jacques
Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal
The integration between rice and fish is an old practice in Madagascar that goes back to around 1900. The practice began with several fish species which are namely common carp (Cyprinus carpio), goldfish (Carassius auratus), and black diamond cichlid (Paratilapia pollen). Recently, tilapia is being integrated in the system. The adaptability of fish species to the rice system as well as the demand on these fish has been the main criteria in selecting these species. The photo shows a rice-tilapia field.
Because of the progress as well as the promising role of this system, the government of Madagascar is promoting such integrated system. The involvement of private sector proved to be essential in regard to overcoming the system obstacles such as the limitation of fish fry. The availability of about 900000 hectares of rice ﬁelds in Madagascar; out of which about 150,000 hectares of rice fields which could be suitable for rice-fish culture, the potential production of significant quantity of edible fish seems achievable.