farmers strive to build a pond system which allows for regular harvests. With a 6
month harvest cycle and a six pond system, the farmer can harvest once a month.
Click on the image to the left to see a sketch of a valley with a 6 pond system . A system such as this one can be accompanied
with animal husbandry (pig pen, chicken coop, rabbit hutches...) and the manure from these
activities can be added to the compost in the water to enhance fish
production. Vegetable gardens can also accompany fish culture and can benefit
from the rich mud that is cleaned out of the pond after each harvest.
- Where there
are no tractors, farmers must use appropriate methods to carry out large tasks. Here
the farmer has set up a lever system to get a big tree trunk out of his pond site.
the pond is built, water is directed to the pond using a system of diversion canals and
bamboo piping. The three farmers in this photo are standing in their
while their pond fills with water. Compost, in the form of leaves and
manure, is used to promote plankton growth. Plankton is the primary food
for Tilapia, a filter feeder.
composting, the pond is ready for stocking the young fish or fingerlings.
Farmers sell their fingerlings at harvest to those who need them for stocking
purposes. The young fish are transported by foot in plastic jugs from one pond
the pond is a family affair. Parents and kids alike bring composting materials as
well as food to the pond on a daily basis. Here the leaves from the acacia
which are rich in Nitrogen are being put in the compost fence. Food for the
fish includes manioc, papaya, sweet potato leaves; termites; leftovers from pounding
manioc tubers or maize for flour.
||The Tilapia Niloticus male will build a nest on the
side of the pond bank like the ones at left. He will then
invite the female to lay her eggs in the nest. Once laid, the
eggs are fertilized by the male. When the fry hatch, the
mother fish broods her babies in her mouth to protect them from
predators. Once old enough the fry will venture out on their
own and will no longer seek refuge in their mother's mouth.
HARVEST!!! Finally after 6 months of feeding, the fish are ready to eat.
Here a farmer and his wife look over their fish before sharing some with
their family and putting the rest aside for sale.
family after harvesting their pond. The fish are either sold fresh at the pond bank
or they are processed for later sale. The fish can be deep fried in palm oil for
sale 1 or 2 days after harvest or they can be salted and stored for sale at a later date.
banana leaf in this photo, one can see a good number of frog's legs. Frogs come to
live in the ponds and the day of the harvest, farmers collect them as they try to
leave the pond. The legs are prepared and fried in palm oil. Very tasty
|| Three musketeers
Congo style. These guys are celebrating a great harvest a the pond bank. As
you can see, forest leaves can make for good hats.