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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 18, 2007
Punjab farmers taking up pisciculture for good fortune
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Punjab farmers taking up pisciculture for good fortune

Pisciculture or fish farming is fast emerging as a big source of livelihood for a number of farmers in Punjab who have remained dependent on traditional farming for generations.

By Ravinder Singh Robin

Gurdaspur, May 18 : Pisciculture or fish farming is fast emerging as a big source of livelihood for a number of farmers in Punjab who have remained dependent on traditional farming for generations.

This has been possible due to the support given by the State government. It has provided six million fish seeds to farmers that include Grass Carp, Silver Carp, Big Head Carp and Gulfam to promote crop diversification in the State.

To harness Pisciculture potential, the Punjabi Fisheries Department and the Punjab Agriculture University too are providing special training through various courses to small and marginal land holders.

About 9,890 hectare area is under fish culture at present with an average fish productivity of 6.09 ton per hectare for each year against the national productivity of 2.60 ton for one hectare.

Though the fish productivity of the state is highest in the country, there is immense scope to boost fish production through the introduction of appropriate technologies and practices.

"Most of the farmers here are taking up Pisiculture along with traditional farming, owing to its merits," said Sukhdeep Singh Bajwa, a fish farmer.

"It is a very good and profitable option and requiring not much labour. Once your pond is ready, investment is also less. These are no marketing problems related to fishery as these days fish market is booming. I have once obtained a maximum yield of 50 quintal per acre. Normally 30-35 quintals per acre is easily achieved," said Sukhdeep Singh Bajwa, a fish farmer.

Fish is sold at prices between rupees 70 to 200 for a kilogram in local markets.

With a one time investment of Rs. 40,000, farmers can earn double the amount, said Amarjit Singh Bajwa, a fish farmer.

"Initially, one needs 10-15 thousand rupees. Adding seed, water and other expenditures the investment cost goes to 40 thousand but if a farmer is properly guided, returns are brilliant. Fishermen come with their team, collect fishes using their nets and give you cash on the spot whereas for the returns of other crops at times one has to wait even for six months" said Amarjit Singh Bajwa, a fish farmer.

India is only second to China in farmed fish production. It had an output of 2.47 million tonnes of fish in 2004-05.

India exports fish to Japan, United Arab Emirates, the United States and the European Union along with the Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Singapore, China and Malaysia

Global Market is reportedly inclined towards Indian fish.

Punjab's fish production is the highest in India, still there is immense room to increase it, Amarjit Singh Bajwa added.

In 2003, the total world production of fisheries product was 132.2 million tonnes of which aquaculture contributed 41.9 million tonnes or about 31 per cent of the total world production.

India has emerged as the world's second largest producer of farmed fish (aquaculture), but its total production is merely one-twentieth that of China, which holds the number-one position.

Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) sources here say the country's share in global aquaculture output is 4.2 per cent in volume and value.

The share of China, on the other hand, is 69.6 per cent in production and 51.2 per cent in value.

The State of the World Aquaculture Report, compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), says nine of the world's 10 largest aquaculture producing countries are in Asia.

The countries, in the order of rank, are: China, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, Bangladesh and Chile.

The report has reckoned India's farmed fish output (2004) at 2.47 million tonnes, against China's 41.32 million tonnes.

The value of India's total reared fisheries output is assessed at 2.93 million dollars, against China's 35.99 million dollars.

Aquacultureis the cultivation of the natural produce of water (fish, shellfish, algae and other aquatic organisms). The term is distinguished from fishing by the idea of active human effort in maintaining or increasing the number of organisms involved, as opposed to simply taking them from the wild.

ANI

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