- Animals: fish
- Animal Production: general animal production
- Education and Training: extension, on-farm/ranch research, workshop
Aquaculture is fairly new to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), holding promise for bolstering the economy. But expenses for feeding the aquatic animals have risen too high for sustainability. Other production strategies may allow farmers to squeeze more profit from their existing systems. This project proposes to explore the benefits of switching from monoculture to polyculture production, in which more than one species will be raised in an area where wastes produced by one species may be inputs for other species. Polyculture production has proved useful in ponds in Asia, but this project breaks new ground by analyzing the raising of shrimp and tilapia in recirculating aquaculture systems where energy cost is steeper than in pond production. If successful, aquaculture production can help reduce dependency on imports and improve food security for CNMI. A fact sheet and manual will be distributed at field days, media days and seminars, and a systematic booklet will help farmers set up their own polyculture systems.
Project objectives from proposal:
* To demonstrate the viability of producing two crops of aquaculture commodity using the same water in separate tanks in what is called sequential polyculture system.
* To demonstrate how this system not only allows the producer to grow two crops but also improves water quality with the secondary crop (finfish).
* To generate additional revenue streams for the producer.
* Promote Sustainable Agriculture practices with planned field and media days and proposed workshops.