Tribune News Service
Shimla, October 11
Himachal Pradesh will start land-based fish farming using recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) technology under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) to raise different varieties of fish throughout the year.
The state will set up 15 fish ponds in five years. “The new fish farms will help farmers raise varieties of fish throughout the year using lesser water and produce a higher yield,” said Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Minister Virender Kanwar.
“The technology also enables the reuse of waste water for agriculture/ domestic and irrigation purposes. In the regular fish farming, water from the ponds or tanks need to be completely pumped out since it gets saturated with toxic ammonia,” he said.
The first batch of fish farmers will be sent to the National Fisheries Development Board, Hyderabad, for training in the latest aquaculture techniques, including the RAS technology. The RAS technology is a new way to farm fish, under which fish is reared in indoor tanks with the limited use of water in a controlled environment. The method is ideal especially in summers when there is a shortage of water.
Of the proposed 15 farms, five will be set up in general waters in Una, Mandi, Kangra and Sirmaur districts, and 10 in cold water fisheries in Kinnaur, Sirmaur, Shimla, Mandi, Chamba and Kullu districts. “When all 15 farms will be operationalised, approximately 270 tonne fish is expected to be produced annually,” said Kanwar. He added that rainbow trout would be reared in coldwater and pangasius, tilapia, common carp in general water.
The state government will provide incentives to the private sector for setting up fish farms under which financial assistance at the rate of 40 per cent to the general category and 60 per cent to the SC/ST/women of the total unit cost will be provided to entrepreneurs.
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