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Amid lockdown, man earns Rs 2 lakh from fish seed

By Rituraj Borthakur

GUWAHATI, May 4 - Beating the lockdown blues, a fish farmer managed to sell some 250 lakh spawns, earning him over Rs 2 lakh in a month�s time.

Meet Aminul Islam of Tooktooki village of Nagaon, who completed nine batches of fish breeding during the lockdown and has produced 250 lakh spawns, which were sold locally at Rs 800 per lakh to fish seed growers of the district through mobile phone booking and door-to-door supply on bicycles.

An arts graduate, Islam took to fish rearing after finding no other alternative. He started with just Rs 650 way back in 1992-93 by procuring fish seeds from a hatchery in Hojai and rearing them in a small pond. Since then, he has been fully involved in fish seed production and now his yearly income is Rs 25-30 lakh.

Today, he has a hatchery capacity of 10 million fry production per year with a total water area of 2 hectares. He is giving livelihood to more than 300 fish farmers.

�During the initial lockdown days, it was difficult, particularly for movement. Customers could not come. There was some loss as we need to supply the spawns in time and we have to take it to the farmers in less than two days,� Islam told The Assam Tribune over phone. Later, however, the district fishery officials and the administration helped him with the logistics and his business began to pick.

�I have 12 staff with me. They used to take the spawns on bicycles, even up to Morigaon. We had to stop the supply to Morigaon after it was declared a red zone,� he said.

Since the lockdown began, Islam has earned more than Rs 2 lakh by selling spawns. Some 300 customer farmers are getting a net benefit of almost Rs 2.5 lakh per year from him.

Noting the success story, the fishery department is contemplating issuing him an inter-district seed carrying exporter registration so that he can sell the seeds throughout the State.

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