GUWAHATI: The State of Assam has an excellent subtropical climate for the development of freshwater fish culture practices in a variety of available water bodies. The State produced 373 million kg fishes from all the sources of water last year against the nutritional demand of around 400 million kg considering based on the minimum nutritional requirement of 11 kg per capita per annum. The quality fish seed is the main input for fish farming practices which determine the overall production scenario of fish, stated a release.
As the quality of fish seed depends on the scientific rearing practices followed in preparation and management of broodstock pond, N.K. Debnath, Director of Fisheries said that to make availability of quality fish seed in the State, the new concept of development of quality fish seed Farmers Producers Groups are adopted under the World Bank-funded project Assam Agri-business and Rural Transformation Project (APART), wherein a group of trained fish farmers are involved in the production of quality fish seeds of various cultivable fish species and cater to the needs of themselves, fellow farmers of the village and farmers of neighbouring villages inappropriate time and at affordable cost. Already eight departmental hatcheries under Kamrup, Goalpara, Sivasagar, Nagaon, Cachar and Lakhimpur District has been upgraded and out of these four Fish seed Multiplication Centre is established to make availability of quality and high yielding variety of fish seed throughout the year and to grow fish seed village near the departmental farm, the Director added.
Dr Dhrubajyoti Sharma, Nodal Officer, APART (Fishery) also mentioned that the fish seed village concept will improve the fish seed production system in an organized manner and a compact area, replacing poor quality seed with new high yielding varieties, increasing the quantity of fish seed production to meet the local demand, timely supply with reasonable cost and self-reliance of quality fish seed at the village. Another important feature of fish seed village is that it may unite the farmers of the village for a common cause, enhance confidence in marketing and understanding the concept of quality fish seed among the farmers as per norms laid down under Assam Fish Seed Rule, 2010. Because of a known source of fish seeds, the producers will be able to grow big fish within a specific period and at the same time consumers will be benefited, Dr Sharma added.
It is also imperative to mention that the ten Fish Farmers Producers Company under APART is actively associated with bringing the high-yielding variety from the National Freshwater Brood Bank, Odisha particularly Amur Carp, Jayanti Rohu and improved Catla. Already one crore high-yielding variety fish seed is marketed by these FPC in five districts, mentioned Dr Sanjay Sarma, Fishery Co-ordinator of APART. To make it a sustainable way, the FPCs are also planning to raise the brood fish in their farm and by replenishing the old broodstock periodically as per existing norms. genetic awareness and introduction of a new fish variety campaign has already been started in a massive way to educate the fish seed producers and growers on the planned breeding programme and the FPC members are trained in such a way that they will constantly supply quality seed to the farmers who are engaged in fish seed rearing and table fish production, Dr Sarma added.