GUWAHATI, Jan 2 - Aiming to reduce fish demand deficit in the State by half, the fishery department has set a target to build 1,811 hectares of ponds by February next.
Simultaneously, 10,000 farmers would be trained on pisciculture to enhance production. The training will be executed by the Assam Agricultural University (AAU) for which the Fishery Mission Society has already accorded sanction of Rs 100 lakh.
The annual fish production in the State in 2017-18 was 3.27 lakh metric tonnes against the requirement of 3.48 lakh metric tonnes. While the deficit is 21,000 MT, around 10,000 MT is imported from outside, cutting the shortfall to around 12,000 MT.
�By February, we intend to build 504 ha of community ponds covering 408 groups, besides 1,307 ha of individual ponds covering 9,227 farmers. We expect to get a harvest of around 5,500 MT by next year from these newly constructed ponds, thus cutting the deficit by half,� a fishery department official told The Assam Tribune.
In the year 2017-18, the fishery department had received sanction of Rs 100.10 crore for implementation of the scheme �Ghare Ghare Pukhuri Ghare Ghare Maach� under NABARD�s RIDF-XXIII, where it was targeted to construct 1,811 ha of ponds. In the original proposal, there was no provision for training and fish inputs for productivity enhancement. Hence, the project was converged with the CMSGUY scheme by the fishery department with the approval of the State Cabinet.
Accordingly, an amount of Rs 32.17 crore was approved by Mega Mission Society (CMSGUY) towards the cost of training (Rs 5 crore) and providing two-year inputs (Rs 27.17 crore) to 10,000 fish farmers of the State covering a total new pond construction area of 1,811 ha.
The first installment of Rs 20 lakh has been released to Assam Agricultural University for conducting the five-day residential training to 2,000 project beneficiaries.
Assam Agricultural University (AAU) will prepare farmers� friendly training manual written in simple language, in Assamese and Bengali, as per the training topics such as planning, designing and construction of new pond, water quality parameters and its role in aquaculture, recent advances in composite fish culture, integrated fish farming for sustainable aquaculture, common fish diseases and health management, importance of fish feed and feeding strategy in commercial fish farming, hatchery management, post-harvest management of fish and fishery product through fish market visit, nursery and rearing pond management for Indian major carp (IMC), brooders management for fish breeding, air breathing fish culture and its prospects, etc.