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Thanks to Uttarakhand government's initiative, fishermen pick their catch in treasured waters

UttaraFish was launched in October last year and integrated almost all facets of fish farming to form a unified system for farmers, cooperative societies, marketing chains and sales outlets.

Published: 20th June 2021 11:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th June 2021 11:12 AM   |  A+A-

About 3,700 farmers from various parts of the state are benefiting from 'UttaraFish' project

About 3,700 farmers from various parts of the state are benefiting from 'UttaraFish' project. (Photo| EPS)

UTTARAKHAND: Nepal Singh is proud of his fish, which fetch him an annual turnover of Rs 15 lakh an amazing income multiplier for someone who only a few years ago was a farm hand. Singh belongs to Kheetki village of Narsan block in Uttarakhand's Haridwar district.

He is among 3,700 farmers from various parts of the state benefiting from the State Integrated Cooperative Development Project titled 'UttaraFish'. "Our lives have changed. A few years back I was a farm labourer living hand-to-mouth with my family," gushes Singh.

UttaraFish was launched in October last year and integrated almost all facets of fish farming to form a unified system for farmers, cooperative societies, marketing chains and sales outlets.  Eight varieties of fish, including trout, rohu, common carp, silver carp & grass carp, mahseer, katla and nain are being produced by thousands of farmers across 13 districts of the state.

Nodal officer HK Purohit said that UttaraFish aims to provide fresh fish in ready-tobe booked form. This involves production as well as marketing and sales, benefitting the farmers directly.

“Farmers from Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Bageshwar and Pithoragarh districts are involved in trout farming. In lower altitude areas such as Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar, rohu and carps are produced as a means of livelihood,” says Purohit.

The UttaraFish website lists its objectives: promote fish farming in the Himalayan community, generate jobs for the rural and semi-rural populace and bolster the 'Atmanirbhar' initiative of the government. This way, consumers get fresh, preservative- free, top-quality fish.

Purohit says the government is planning to increase the span of the scheme by opening 10-15 outlets in the next two years across the state.

At present only one 'UttaraFish' outlet is in Dehradun where around 2 tons of fish varieties are supplied every month. Officials said that over 90 per cent of fish are brought in the state from the southern states and reach at least a week after while 'UttaraFish' supplies fresh fish within 10-12 hours.

The scheme enabled the farmers to earn good money as it promotes a sustainable way of life in the higher reaches of Uttarakhand.

Kunwar Singh, a farmer based in Mansur village in Ukhimath area of Rudraprayag district, says his annual turnover is around Rs 20 lakh. "I started trout farming in 2018 and now I produce 6-7 tons which I plan to increase up to 20 tons by next year. Currently around 144-ton production enables farmers to earn between Rs 1000-1200 per kg. We plan to increase the trout fish production to 2,000 tons by next year," says Purohit.

Officials say that in the remotest and higher reaches of the state, trout farming is changing the lives of the most underprivileged people who are at a disadvantage against city people in terms of livelihood opportunities.

What's UttaraFish

UttaraFish was launched in October last year and integrated almost all facets of fish farming to form a unified system for farmers, cooperative societies, marketing chains and sales outlets.



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