NIRDPR promotes Intensive Fish Culture Cages to help farmers enhance income generation

Team Careers | 10th Jul, 2019 - 6:15 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI, JULY 10: National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) is working on new technology in aquaculture to help double the income of Indian Farmers. The Institute has recently established a ‘Backyard Re-circulatory Aquaculture System’ developed by Cochin University of Science and Technology.

The system, an intensive fish culture pond, enables high-density stocking of fish in cages. This would allow off-setting of the load by stocking different varieties and sizes of fish in smaller cages in a pond. Since the water requirement for this system is quite low, the high-density stocking of fish in different cages enables flexibility in managing a fishpond.

This system, inaugurated at the Institute’s Rural Technology Park, was established with the funding support of the National Fisheries Development Board, Government of India.

Fish varieties that can be grown in the system include Tilapia, Pangasius, Murrel and Pearlspot. The economics of growing Genetically Improved Farm Tilapia (GIFT) in the pond, for a stocking period of 120 days over three cycles per year, demonstrates that an average monthly return of Rs.25,750/- can be expected from a fish culture.

Speaking about the benefits of this innovation, Dr. W R Reddy, Director General, NIRDPR said, “We can only double the income of farmers by promoting integrated farming practices. Such technology-backed smart farming solutions will encourage youth to undertake farming as an occupation.”

The aquaculture system can act as a source of additional income for farmers located even in low water availability areas, helping them double their income. In addition, the sludge periodically pumped out of the pond can be utilized to grow agriculture crops without the addition of chemical fertilizers. Given that the intensive fish culture does not require to be limited in geography to coastal areas, it can also be used in inland areas, further confirming the flexibility of the system.

The Rural Technology Park at NIRDPR will demonstrate the functioning of the system and provide necessary training to farmers, self-help groups (SHGs) and youth who are keen on undertaking fish culture for enhancing their income. For this, NIRDPR is establishing modules for the training programme on the Aquaculture System for promoting it as a sustainable mode of income generation through integrated farming. In addition, as the system requires technical supervision in the construction process, technical training for fishery graduates who can become certified promoters of this technology to farmers is being considered in consultation with National Fisheries Development Board.

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