|Duckweed covering pond|
An integrated farm is a combination of several farming activities that take place on small farms and rural households. Most rural households in Guyana keep chickens, a popular source of protein in other Caribbean nations as well as Guyana. Many households also have ducks. Both forms of poultry are fed with rice bran and other cheap ingredients such as kitchen scraps and broken rice. Some households also raise pigs as well using rice bran, broken rice, copra and surplus fruits and vegetables. Finally a few households had small fish ponds stocked with tilapia.
Manure from these farm animals is collected, mixed with water and added to an enclosed 10 to 20ft long plastic bag in which anaerobic digestion takes place. This biodigester provides methane gas for cooking. The remaining effluent from this biodigester can be used to fertilize vegetable gardens and duckweed ponds.
A key component of the integrated farm model is the duckweed pond. Duckweed, a floating vascular plant of the Lemnaceae family, grows very quickly and provides an easily digested protein supplement for poultry, livestock and fish. Duckweed can replace up to one third of the feed requirements of poultry and this would mean a significant savings for the householder.
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