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Skill development programme organized for hill farmers

A Correspondent
Biswanath Chariali, May 26: A skill development programme on ‘Start-up fish farming, fish seed production and hatchery management for hill farmers of Ziro valley, Arunachal Pradesh’ was organized during recently at Pabhoi Fish Farm, Pabhoi, Biswanath district.

The programme was organized under the aegis of ICAR-Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research, Bhimtal, Nainital district, Uttarakhand with an objective to train fish farmers of Ziro valley and to develop hands-on skills on scientific aspects for better fish farming practices, fish hatchery operation and management and fish seed production by artificial breeding techniques through hormone administration.

The output of this hands-on skill development programme among the hill farmers of Ziro valley, Arunachal Pradesh is expected to make the region and its adjoining areas self-sufficient in quality fish seed production for stocking and enhancing fish productivity. Effort has been made in an earlier phase by ICAR-DCFR, Bhimtal in establishing a fish hatchery at Hari village of Ziro valley, Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh, in association with the State Fisheries Department of Arunachal Pradesh and Gaumco Multipurpose Cooperative Society Pvt. Ltd. to augment the fish seed production scenario. In the second phase, the farmers of the valley are trained to develop skills from a reputed and recognized fish farm and seed production centre in Assam for which the Pabhoi Fish Farm was approached by ICAR-DCFR.

During the five-day programme, the farmers learned the broodstock selection criteria, brooder size, their feeding techniques, handling during harvest, prophylactic measures and better management practices. Skill development was emphasized on detection of spawning status of brooders, segregation of male and female brooders, hormone administration in brood fishes, water circulation regulations, estimation of egg count and fertilization percentage, egg collection techniques, hatching and incubation. The hatchery operation techniques were followed by nursery management practices which include transfer of spawns from hatchery unit to nurseries, nursery preparation, insect control measures and feeding management. In addition, skills to identify fish seeds at fry stage, weighing methods for transport and marketing, oxygen packaging was learned.

The farmers of Ziro valley expressed satisfaction on completion of the programme. The queries raised by the farmers in the interactive sessions, both in the classroom and field, were solved and answered by the proprietors of Pabhoi Fish Farm, Biren Bhagawati and Bhargav Bhagawati.

The programme was coordinated by Deepjyoti Baruah, Senior Scientist from ICAR-DCFR, Bhimtal.