Rice-and-Fish Farming

Rice-and-Fish Farming


a farming method by which a flooded rice field, or paddy, is used for raising both rice and fish. The rice paddies are flooded to form shallow bodies of water (10-30 cm deep) in which such warm-water fishes as domesticated and common carp can live. The carp, in their search for food, loosen the soil. In addition to eating the seeds of weed plants, the fish feed on the larvae of the rice midge and other pests of rice. The fish excrement fertilizes the soil. Hence, the presence of fish results in an increase in the rice yield. When the carp are fed and the paddies are fertilized, fish productivity increases per hectare of water.

In the USSR this method of rice-and-fish farming is being replaced by the more effective method of rice-fish rotation, by which flooded rice fields that would ordinarily lie fallow are stocked with fish. Domesticated carp, grass carp, and silver carp are raised by this method. The rice paddies are fertilized and flooded to a depth of 60-70 cm. The yield of fish increases, and weed contamination is diminished. The next year the rice yield of the paddies is increased.

Rice-and-fish farming has existed since ancient times in China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, and the countries of South America. In the 20th century, with the increase in the area of land under rice cultivation, this method of farming has been adopted by Italy, Spain, Hungary, and other European countries. Most countries outside the USSR stock rice paddies with domesticated and common carp. In Southeast Asia the principal fishes raised in paddies include goldfish, milk-fish, teliapiia, mozambique, gourami, catfish, and snakehead. In South America the big-mouth buffalo, catfish, and largemouth black bass are raised in paddies. Both methods of rice-and-fish farming are used in the world’s rice-growing regions.


Meien, V. A. Razvedenie ryby na risovykh poliakh. Moscow, 1940.
Rekomendatsii po vyrashchivaniiu ryby na risovykh chekakh. Krasnodar, 1970.