IRRI, WorldFish to optimize rice-fish farming productivity in Myanmar
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), together with WorldFish and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation of Myanmar, is now exploring opportunities to improve the livelihood, income, and nutrition of smallholder farmers in Myanmar by maximizing the combined productivity of rice and fish farming.
Research results recently conducted in Myanmar and some neighboring countries through the ACIAR-funded Rice-Fish project show that improved rice-fish farming offers a chance for farmers to produce a greater range of food and earn more income while only having minimum paddy modifications.
“In Myanmar, growing fish together with rice has not affected rice yield. It has even increased farmer income by 9 percent in Maubin, Ayeyarwady Region, and 132 percent in Letpadan, Bago Region,” said IRRI scientist Alexander Stuart.
In addition, the integrated rice-fish system produces enough incentives to discourage farmers to shift to aquaculture practices alone.
Through the integrated system, they are able to reach national rice production targets while improving livelihoods of farmers and opening gender equitable employment opportunities most especially in post-harvest processing of fish.