A Framework for Research into the Potential for Integration of Fish Production in Irrigation Systems.


NB. The pdf for this document is a prepublication version.

Water is a critically important but increasingly scarce resource in much of the developing world. Increases in overall productivity in relation to water use are desirable in the context of rising pressure to utilise water more efficiently. This highlights the need for improved integration amongst water use systems. This paper presents a framework for research towards integrating fish production and irrigation systems, focusing on opportunities for poor people as beneficiaries. Any assessment of farming systems in Asia quickly recognises that 'irrigated' and 'rainfed' zones are far more complex with respect to water availability than such simple terms suggest. The constraints and opportunities for the poor to benefit from integration of fish production into large, institutionally-managed systems are likely to be very different for farmers managing various forms of micro-irrigation. We categorise irrigation as being under the control of (i) the household or immediate community, or (ii) an outside institution, typically, an irrigation authority or department, as the basis of a framework leading to the development of improved systems integrated with fish production for both. We outline approaches that use technical and social methodologies both to understand current systems and to develop innovative approaches in participation with stakeholders. Engineering and management options are examined in an interdisciplinary mode in which action research with local communities follows situation analysis. Projects are being undertaken in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but technical and management guidelines, and the wider policy issues developed will have broader relevance in developing countries.

Chapter based on work presented at the Asian Fisheries Society Conference, Manila, Philippines, 11-14 November, 1998.


Murray, F.; Little, D.C.; Haylor, G.; Felsing, M.; Gowing, J.; Kodithuwakku, S.S. A framework for research into the potential for integration of fish production in irrigation systems. In: Edwards, P.; Demaine, H.; Little, D.C. (Eds.), Rural Aquaculture. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, (2002) 29-40. ISBN 0-85199-565-9

Published 1 January 2002