Punjab promotes fish farming

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Ludhiana, Jan 18(ANI): Many small and marginal farmers in Punjab have switched to integrated fish farming, and among them is Rajvinder Pal Singh of Mullanapur in Ludhiana district, who is a successful fish farmer.

After getting a Master's degree in Business Administration, Singh learned pisciculture from Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University. ight years ago, he started fish-farming on two acres of land and today, his fish-ponds cover 80 acres. is success story has set an example for other small and marginal farmers in Punjab.

"As far as fish production at the world level is concerned, China comes first and India stands at number two. In a year or two, India will come close to China, but to come at the top will take another four to five years. China produces fish in rice farms and if that technology comes to India, we can grow faster. Basically, we are not utilizing our waters properly, whereas China does so. We can compete with China in fish production if we adopt water management technologies," Rajvinder said.

Efforts are on in Punjab to increase fish production by encouraging small and marginal farmers to practice pisciculture.

The College of Fisheries at Guru Angad Dev University has been promoting pisciculture through integrated teaching, research and extension programmes.

The college, in addition to well-equipped research and teaching laboratories, has more than 10 acres of fish farms, and hatcheries for carp and catfish.

The college of fisheries, which is the first of its kind in north India, carries out research for sustainable management of pisciculture, and captures fishery resources, as well.

"There is huge wasteland located in Ferozpur, Muktsar, Bhatinda and Faridkot districts of Punjab. This is non-agricultural and zero earning land. The college of Fisheries in the university is working to convert this wasteland into fishponds. The farmers are not able to do farming there," said Dr. Asha Dhawan, Professor and Head of Aquaculture Department.

Punjab has received a yield of 6,100 kg per hectare in fish production, which is the highest in the country.

Striving for a 'Blue Revolution', the state government is making efforts to bring about 10,000 hectares of area under fish culture. This will provide direct and indirect employment to over 50,000 people.

In India, where the consumption of fish is growing, the future seems bright for fish-farmers. by Karan Kapoor (ANI)

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