Agronomy for Sustainable Development

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 569–581 | Cite as

Organic rice–prawn farming yields 20 % higher revenues

  • Chellappan Mohanakumaran Nair
  • Krishna Rugmini Salin
  • Juliet Joseph
  • Bahuleyan Aneesh
  • Vaidhyanathan Geethalakshmi
  • Michael Bernard New
Research Article


Rice–prawn farming in Asian countries is a sustainable practice using less fertilizers. Organic farming of rice and giant river prawns in rotational crops was tested in the waterlogged paddy fields of Kuttanad, Kerala as part of the Indian Organic Aquaculture Project. Rice was cultivated during November to February, followed by a crop of freshwater prawns in the same field from March to September. Here, we study the production of four certified farms growing organic rice and organic prawns compared with four conventional farms growing rice and prawns in rotational crops. We evaluate the economic viability by cost-return and partial budgeting analysis. Our results show that farming rice organically reduced yields by 23 %, from 5,690 kg/ha in conventional farming compared to 4,376 kg/ha in organic farming. However, the organic prawn crop yield of 396 kg/ha was 10 % higher than the yield of the conventional system, of 360 kg/ha, although the differences were not significant. Furthermore, total investment for organic rice was approximately 20 % greater than for the non-organic rice crop. Total investment for organic prawns was 17 % greater than for the non-organic prawn crop. Net revenue was 11 % lower for organic rice than for conventional rice. Organic prawns realized 117 % higher net revenue than conventional prawns. Although organic rice farming realized lower returns than conventional, its combination with organic prawn farming enhanced net revenue by 20 % over conventional rice/conventional prawn production.


Organic rice Prawns Macrobrachium rosenbergii Organic aquaculture Partial budgeting Economics 


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Copyright information

© INRA and Springer-Verlag France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chellappan Mohanakumaran Nair
    • 1
  • Krishna Rugmini Salin
    • 1
  • Juliet Joseph
    • 1
  • Bahuleyan Aneesh
    • 1
  • Vaidhyanathan Geethalakshmi
    • 2
  • Michael Bernard New
    • 3
  1. 1.Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean StudiesKeralaIndia
  2. 2.Central Institute of Fisheries TechnologyKeralaIndia
  3. 3.Aquaculture without FrontiersBucksUK

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