BANGALORE: Agriculturists who are battered by huge input cost and low prices for the produces in the market are now looking at other alternative sources of revenue. The rearing of fish and fish seed promises to be lucrative in their quest.
N R Ramakrishna, Director of Fisheries, Department of Fisheries, who spoke to Express on Monday, said that the inland fish production has recorded a 15 per cent growth during 2010-11, thanks to the newfound interest towards pisciculture by the traditional farmers.
The inland fish production recorded was about 1.86 lakh metric tonne in 2010-11 against 1.59 lakh MT recorded in the
previous corresponding period, he said. The total value rose to `773.48 crore against the previous year’s `637.30 crore.
Informing that the department has taken several initiatives to popularise the inland pisciculture, Ramakrishna said that it not only helped create more jobs but also boosted the revenue prospective
for the farmers.
He said that several farmers who were traditionally raising paddy and sugarcane in Mandya districts have started taking interest towards rearing fish. Channappa, a farmer in Malavalli, converted his two acre agriculture land into fish pond and produced fish seed worth over `8 lakh in less than four months. “The net profit earned by the farmer by selling fish seed was around `5 to 6 lakh which is more compared to traditional crops of paddy and the sugarcane” he said. More and more farmers are getting interested in pisciculture, he said.
The state has about 5.60 lakh hectare of inland water resources, and rich
potential for pisciculture, he added.
Due to various reasons, only about 20 per cent of the total inland water resources are being tapped for pisciculture, and there is a big gap to bridge, Ramakrishna said.