Socioeconomic aspects of rice-fish farming in Bangladesh: opportunities, challenges and production efficiency


  • Nesar Ahmed,

  • Kerstin K. Zander,

  • Stephen T. Garnett

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    • Nesar Ahmed (e-mail:, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia; Present address: Department of Fisheries Management, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh 2202, Bangladesh. Kerstin K. Zander and Stephen T. Garnett, School for Environmental Research, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

  • The study was supported through the Australian Government Endeavour Research Fellowship. The study was a part of the first author’s postdoctoral research at the School of Environmental and Life Sciences, Charles Darwin University, Australia.


In spite of the potential for rice-fish farming in Bangladesh, it has been adopted by relatively few farmers because of socioeconomic, environmental, technological and institutional constraints. Rice monoculture remains the main farming system in Bangladesh even though integrated rice-fish farming is the best farming system in terms of resource utilisation, diversity, productivity, production efficiency and food supply. Only a small number of farmers involve in integrated rice-fish farming. This study concludes that rice-fish farming is as production efficient as rice monoculture and that integrated performs better in terms of cost and technical efficiency compared with alternate rice-fish farming. Integrated rice-fish farming can help Bangladesh keep pace with the current demand for food through rice and fish production. However, a lack of technical knowledge of farmers, high production costs and risks associated with flood and drought are inhibiting more widespread adoption of the practice.