MAHBUBNAGAR: The dreams of a fish farmer to earn attractive profits by rearing marine produce were shattered by severe drought conditions prevailing in the district currently.
Narayana Naidu, a tenant fish farmer from Timmapur village in Etikyala Mandal of Mahbubnagar district, pooled Rs 30 lakh to rear fish in Pedda Cheruvu of the village. Of this, he took a Rs 14 lakh loan by mortgaging 21 acres of agriculture land belonging to his wife to Andhra Bank.
He also took another Rs 2.5 lakh from the same Andhra Bank by mortgaging four tolas of gold ornaments belonging to his wife and two tolas of his sister-in-law.
Besides, Narayana also took another loan of Rs 11 lakh at an interest rate of Rs 2 for every Rs 100 from his close friends and private money lenders to take up fish farming. With ambitious plans, he bought Rs 17.80 lakh worth prawns and fish.
He took the tank on lease for an annual amount of Rs 3.5 lakh and was confident of getting water from Jurala right canal.
However, his dreams were shattered as he did not get enough water from the canal as expected. Although, the tank had water initially, giving hope of a good harvest, it did not last long due to the non-release of water from the Jurala Right Canal.
This has resulted in the death of all the prawns and fish in the tank. Unaware of this, Narayana had made arrangements for transporting his harvest to a nearby fish market and reached the tank to undertake the task. But the scene at the tank left him in tears as an estimated 10 quintals of fish had died.
Narayana found that all the prawns and fish have died due to lack of water supply. He told Express that the entire value of the prawn and the fish is over Rs 50 lakh in the open market.
Left with no option, he is making a humble appeal to the State government to come to his rescue with financial aid, as fish farming is not covered under drought-hit commodities. “All my dreams have been shattered. I am now completely under debts. I don’t have any option but to rely on the government for help,” he said.