Citation Karim M & Little DC (2018) The impacts of integrated homestead pond-dike systems in relation to production, consumption and seasonality in central north Bangladesh. Aquaculture Research, 49 (1), pp. 313-334. https://doi.org/10.1111/are.13462
Abstract The roles of homestead ponds and surrounding dike production of vegetables on farms in peri-urban and rural communities in central north Bangladesh were assessed. A baseline survey sought to characterize actively managed (“active”) pond-dike systems, producing fish and vegetables, in terms of productivity and impact compared to less intensively integrated (“passive”) and control, no-pond households. A longitudinal survey was carried out over 12months to explore the relationship between seasonality and livelihood outcomes in relation to location and well-being status. Active homestead pond operators tended to have greater access to information and credit compared to passive and non-pond households; this was likely linked to their greater literacy and greater social connectedness. They enjoyed higher incomes through fish sales and consumed more fish than passive households, which was related to their higher production, in turn explained mainly by the use of more inputs. All active, 50% passive and 38% non-pond households were involved in vegetable cultivation; however, significantly more vegetables were produced by active households than others. The impacts of pond-dike production were more critical for food-vulnerable, rural households than peri-urban households prior to monsoon rice harvest; worse-off households suffered more prior to the “irrigated rice” harvest. Fish and vegetables raised on farm were most important during lower income months. The study supports the view that small homestead ponds can contribute to the wider food supply, and that such “quasi-peasant” forms of aquaculture contribute to reduced poverty and enhanced dietary diversity and food security in the broader population.