JAGATSINGHPUR: Fish farming or pisciculture may be a lucrative business but it is not so for farmers of Jagatsinghpur district. Non-availability of quality fish seeds has left many farmers in the lurch.
Though Alaka fish seed production centre at Naradia under Balikuda block in Jagatsinghpur district has been supporting local farmers, lack of Government initiative in developing the centre has led to failure in production of quality fish seeds.
Despite having suitable tanks and ponds for farming, about 75 per cent farmers failed to hatch fish to generate income. They attributed the reason to poor quality of fish seeds and lack of training to farmers.
Established in 2007, the district’s only fish seed production centre has four ponds for breeding. During breeding season, from June to August, fish spawns are produced from breeder fishes at the centre. Later, these are supplied to different nursery centres where farmers receive fish seeds.
There is no proper drainage system at the centre and as a result, ponds are waterlogged during floods. The centre also has no protection wall. Though there is a provision to set up fishery laboratory at the production centre to test soil and water, no step has been taken by Odisha Pisciculture Development Corporation Ltd (OPDC) in this regard, alleged Sibacharan Swain, a farmer of Neepur village.
Convener of Alaka Suraksha Abhiyan Ratnakar Nayak said though there is provision to change breeder fishes every three years to produce quality fish spawns, the fishery department is yet to take steps in this regard. Supply of quality breeders, capacity building on hatchery management, trained human resources and adoption of new technologies are required to make fish farming profitable, he added.
District Fishery Officer Gyanaranjan Samal said steps are being taken to change old breeding fish to produce two crore quality fish spawns every year. Besides, the department has planned to dig two ponds at the centre with all safety measures, he added.