There’s a call for farmers to embrace sustainable agricultural practices. Sustainable agricultural practices ensure food safety and protection of the environment. An example of sustainable agricultural practices is Integrated Farming. Integrated farming combines resources from both plants and animals in a way that each element helps the other, that is, the waste of one is recycled as a resource for the other.

Integrated farming takes many animal-plant relationships under its wing but today we’re going to look at poultry. Poultry requires a small investment when compared to other animals. With Ksh. 1000 ($10) you can get two or three young hens (teen chicks?). With proper care, one can earn a few coins from selling eggs, or from selling meat from poultry.

Now imagine combining poultry with something else, say fish rearing or horticulture. These relationships give rise to a self-sufficient system that minimises costs. Let’s take a closer look at the some of the integrated systems being widely practised.

1. Integrated chicken-fish farming.

This is a method commonly practised in Asia. It incorporates chicken breeding for meat or eggs with fish rearing. Chicken can be raised over or adjacent to the ponds and the poultry droppings are used as food for the fish. Chicken excreta produces nitrates that are very good at plankton formation. Planktons is used as food for fish. It’s very important however to ensure that the poultry is vaccinated.

  • Benefits of this method include:
  • Maximum use of space.
  • The poultry excreta is used as fertiliser and feed for the fish, therefore, saves up on these two costs.
  • A hygienic poultry house.
  • Water from the pond is very rich in nitrates.Therefore, it can be used for horticultural purposes which will reduce the cost of fertilisers.

Good news is that the method is slowly being practised by farmers in Kenya. With the recent opening in the fish market don’t you think it’s high time you made use of that opportunity?

And by the way, you can also do this with rice and ducks. Hang on to our next blog for insight into it.

 

Image from: http://www.nafis.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/untitled.jpg

Happy Planting!