KOCHI: Age bows down before enthusiasm and the will to utilise your time. And if the end result of the hard work that you put in brings in the moolah? Surely, it will be the crowning glory!
Sankaran, a 66-year-old farmer, has shown that age is no limit when it comes to pisciculture, especially, if you enjoy doing it. For him the bucks which his farms reel in is the bonus.
Sankaran hailing from Thorayi in Atholi panchayat is writing a success story of his own by growing Red Snapper(‘chemballi’) and Pearlspot(‘karimeen’) in the ponds that he has created in his agriculture land on the banks of Korappuzha river.
“I used to go fishing early in the morning in Korappuzha river. Some times fingerlings too used to get caught in the nets. It was then that I thought about growing these fingerlings that get caught in my nets on a commercial basis. In 2013, I dug up ponds on my land and began raising ‘chemballi’ and ‘karimeen’ fingerlings. For me fish farming is a time pass,” said Sankaran.
Last year he sold around 400 kilograms of fish which he harvested from his pond. He earned around `400 to `500 per kilogram of ‘chemballi’. Fingerlings caught by him or bought from others are raised in two ponds on his land. “Fingerlings weighing 100 gm or above are kept under observation for two days after being caught from the river. Later, after confirming their health, they are released in the pond. The normal growth period is one year for ‘chemballi’ and they attain a growth of 1kg or above,” he said.
The ponds have a depth of 2 m during high tide and water from Korapuzha river is fed into the ponds by means of a sluice gate. This helps to maintain optimum environmental conditions including salinity in the ponds for the survival of the fish stocked in them. The fish are fed lesser fish varieties everyday in the morning.
Recently, after it came to learn about the fish farm, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) provided nets and other materials needed to erect a fence around the ponds.
Sankaran urged the government to do more to promote fish farming.
“Fish population is declining very rapidly. It is the responsibility of the government to provide all sort of assistance to farmers needed for fish farming on a larger scale. This will result in more and more people taking up fish farming as a profession,” he added.