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Integrated farming system (IFS) is a farming approach that helps conserve agrobiodiversity, provides food security, enhances ecosystem services, maintains environmental quality and also achieves sustainability. Integrated fish farming (IFF) refers to a practice of IFS where fish becomes the major component of the farming system. Thus, the practice of integrating fish with agriculture or livestock helps in utilization of farm space, recycling of resources, diversification of crops, minimizing the use of farm feed and fertilizers, reducing the risks of crop loss, increasing productivity and income. In order to achieve rapid progress and development in the rural and coastal areas of the country, the policies and research strategies must focus on conserving natural resources by enhancing the efficiency in the use of these resources for increasing productivity, income, and profitability. On the other hand, freshwater availability for human use is emerging as a national and international challenge, and its efficient management and recycling are of utmost importance. Recycling of farm and crop residue and agricultural by-products need to focus on minimizing the cost of production. Since animal waste makes good fertilizer for fish ponds, and 50 – 60% of the cost of fish farming goes for feed, integrated farming is an ideal model for farmers and coastal communities. Integrated agri-aquapoultry and goat farming system in brackishwater aquaculture ponds is one of the best examples of mixed farming. This farming practice involves a combination of fish polyculture integrated with crop or livestock production.

Components of integrated farming system in brackishwater aquaculture pond
a) Asian seabass nursery rearing in hapa in pond system
Asian seabass, also known as bhetki or barramundi, is a commercially important high valued finfish species caught from inshore areas, estuaries, backwaters and lagoons. They are fast-growing eurytopic fish, that can be grown in varying salinities including freshwater and is a suitable candidate for brackishwater fish farming. Seabass can grow to a mean size of 1.0 – 1.2 kg in 8 – 10 months and fetches a high domestic (Rs. 450 to 700) and international market price (USD 8 – 11/450 – 500g). The culture of seabass involves nursery rearing in hapas, pre-grow-out culture, and grow-out culture in ponds and cages.

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