In some parts of the world – particularly communities living near lakes and large rivers – fishing is part of their traditional way of life. In many other parts of the world, fish farming is a recent idea – maybe even a totally new one. Bob Hansford helpfully compares fish farming to all other types of farming. In this issue we look at small scale fish farming – in ways that would be easy for anyone to try out on a small piece of land. If the idea of fish farming (or aquaculture, as it sometimes called) is new to you, we hope this issue will give you enough confidence to try it out for yourself. The resources page gives details of further information, resource centres and training. You may also find your local department of agriculture or fisheries very helpful. 

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 25 in html.

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 25 click here (697K).

  • Agroforestry in the Dominican Republic

    Our organisation – NATURALEZA – works in the Dominican Republic, encouraging agroforestry work. Our first priority was soil conservation. Then we began to establish community tree nurseries and hedges.

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  • Building a Pond

    by Dennis and Meredith Murnyak. Choosing the site. You will need a good source of water – such as springs, streams and ground water. You can also rely on rain water. Rain-filled ponds often dry up in the dry season, so you must harvest the fish before the water level falls too low.

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  • Editorial

    'If you give a person a fish, they will have food for one day. But if you teach them to fish, they will have food for the rest of their life.' ANCIENT CHINESE PROVERB

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  • Experiments with neem

    by Dr Rachel Reuben. The Neem (Azadirachta indica) is a common tree in towns and villages in India. Its distinctive leaves and sprays of small, white, sweet smelling flowers are a familiar sight in avenues and gardens.

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  • Farming with fish

    Good farmers look after their crops. Before planting they make sure the soil is well prepared. They select good seed or seedlings. They water the young plants regularly and remove weeds. They use manure or fertiliser to increase growth and watch out for pests or diseases. Hard work produces a good crop, but laziness or neglect will result in a poor harvest!

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  • Fish in the rice paddy

    Rice paddies have lots of natural food for fish. This is one of the advantages of raising fish and rice together. Fish help the farmer by eating weeds and insects in the paddy field. Fish manure fertilises rice and increases rice yield.

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  • Letters

    Bees for beginners. Thank you for PASO A PASO. In issue 10 of the magazine it mentions that many farmers who are unable to keep cattle, instead keep sheep or goats. They provide a source of cash when needed to pay for school fees, hospital bills etc.

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  • Raising fish and crops together

    A system has been developed in Thailand by a group known as ITAG (International Technical Assistance Group) which combines fish farming with the growing of vegetables and crops on raised beds. Long narrow fish ponds are dug in between long narrow raised beds. Both ponds and raised beds are about 2m x 15m. The ponds are about 1m deep. The top-soil (the top fertile layer of soil about 30–40cm deep) from digging the ponds is added to the raised beds.

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  • Resources

    Raising Fish in Ponds: A Farmer’s Guide to Tilapia Culture. by Dennis and Meredith Murnyak. This booklet results from many years’ experience raising tilapia in Tanzania. It is very highly recommended – straightforward to read with excellent illustrations and very practical. A section of the book has provided the information for the centre pages on building a pond. The booklet has 76 pages and can be ordered from:

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  • Sealing fish ponds

    Few farmers use aquaculture in Latin America, though it could have great potential there. One of the reasons is that the soils are often too porous – they do not hold water well. It is possible to make artificial linings – using polyethylene or rubber sheets or cement. However, these methods are expensive.

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  • Test your AIDS awareness

    This quiz has proved a useful tool in discussion groups and AIDS teaching sessions. It was prepared by Karen Homer and Deborah Ventimiglia. Answer true or false for each of the following questions and then check your answers below.

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