Social-ecological analysis of integrated agriculture-aquaculture in Dedza, Malawi

Blythe, Jessica L. (2013) Social-ecological analysis of integrated agriculture-aquaculture in Dedza, Malawi. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 15 (4). pp. 1143-1155.

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Through the case of integrated agriculture-aquaculture in rural Malawi, this paper argues that hybrid research can reveal new interactions in social-ecological systems not evident when studies by social or natural methods independently. While recent research acknowledges the social and natural dimensions of aquaculture systems, studies often create an artificial divide by attempting to address each aspect in isolation. Social science research has overlooked the biophysical aspects of aquaculture, while scientific research has uncritically accepted orthodox explanations of environmental outcomes without addressing the social contexts of such systems. The social component of this research reveals that fish farmers in Malawi are rejecting practices which do not work in the local context (fertilization with pond mud) and adopting strategies that do work (irrigation with pond water). The physical component of this research compliments the social by elucidating that irrigation with pond water resulted in higher soil nutrient and moisture content. The paper concludes that small-scale aquaculture can make significant contributions to rural household food and income security in Africa and that hybrid research methods can improve our abilities to investigate the complex, connected nature of social-ecological systems.

Item ID: 38249
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-2975
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2015 03:22
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160499 Human Geography not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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