Fish and vegetables: a winning combination

Chandana Mondol is 25 and is married with a five year old daughter. Her husband Debashish is a fisherman and they live in the Jessore district of Bangladesh.

The village is badly affected by the flooding every year. In last two years villagers were only able to cultivate 27 of the 1500 available hectares of land. It is possible to farm fish in ponds made by raised dykes.

The village also has two canals which used to drain into the river.  However the river has silted up so now the canal is deeper than the river so water cannot pass through.  This results in waterlogging of the land.

It is difficult for Debashish to catch fish during the rainy season, because the waterlogging has meant that most landowners have transferred their land to a closed system, leaving little open waters available to fishermen without land.

The family income is very low, so they are unable to save for the rainy season and often have to borrow money to get by.  To  make matters worse, their house gets waterlogged each rainy season so they have to spend money on repairs.

Chandana attended Practical Action's training on the construction and use of a new combined floating fish and vegetable farming technique, called aqua-geoponics. She has put the system into use and built three cages.

She invested 1,300 taka (£11.90) to buy 1,500 tilapia fingerlings (young fish) and expects to harvest 120 kg of these fish. She will sell them for around 120 taka (£1.10) per kg. 

Chandana is also cultivating bottle gourds over the cages for the family to eat.

"I used only to do the household chores. Now I can support with additional income. I am planning to make more cages for the next cycle. To save some cost, I will use bamboo to make the frames. My neighbours is regularly asking about this farming technique. I can also work as a trainer for them!”

Although my husband is a fisherman, it was difficult for us to have fish for our household consumption. Now, not only I can sell the fish from the cage, but also can keep some for us. My child loves to eat fish. She will be very pleased to have this tilapia

Floating farms

Combining fish and vegetables on floating platforms to increase income nutrition

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