Fish farming gets govt boost in Morang

- Post Report, BIRATNAGAR

Nov 2, 2017-

The government has launched a major investment programme to improve production of fisheries in Morang. Under the 10 year Prime Minister Agricultural Programme, Morang has been declared a ‘fisheries zone’. 

The plan aims at increasing incomes of farmers. The government has invested Rs176.8 million to dig additional fish ponds on five hectares of land to promote commercial fish farming. The government has granted a subsidy of Rs300,000 per hectare for farmers to dig ponds. 

“Farmers have been attracted in digging ponds after the scheme launched,” said Hukum Lal Singh, an information officer of the project. Of the total budget, Rs170 million has been allocated for subsidies to dig fish ponds.

The project has launched in Katari and Dhanpalthan in Morang and Rangeli Municipality, declaring them as a fisheries development zone. 

Last year, the project saw 51 farmers dig 147 new ponds on 40 hectares of land for commercial fish farming. 

The government had distributed Rs12 million in subsidies to the farmers. This year, new ponds will be dug on 150 hectares, said Singh. The project is preparing to release Rs45 million in subsidies for farmers. The project has envisaged making Morang self sufficient in fish within 10 years by expanding fisheries command areas to 1,141 hectares from 641 hectares at present. This will increase fish production to 7,000 tonnes annually from 3,000 tonnes recorded last year. This year, the project aims to produce 5,000 tonnes of fishes. Currently, fish productivity in Morang stands at 4 tonnes per hectare.

The project aims to increase the productivity to 6 tonnes per hectare by adopting improved technology. 

Apart from Morang, the government has also allocated Rs370 million in this fiscal year to promote Bara as a fishery hub under the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project.

The number of farmers setting up fish farms and fisheries in the region has increased over the years due to high returns. Under super zones, Simroungadh in Bara will be promoted for fishery. Under the super zone scheme, the project will help farmers establish fish nurseries, dig ponds and establish post-harvest centres. 

The project will mobilise Rs300 million to dig 9,500 new fish ponds and Rs25 million to establish fish nurseries on 50 hectares of land.

Bara has a huge fish production potential with a productivity of 6 tonnes per hectare against the country’s average of 2 tonnes. The district produces 10,000 tonnes of fish worth Rs2 billion annually.

Likewise, the government has been developing a fishery block under the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project in Chitwan district. The project has planned to prepare fish pond in 99 hectares of land, monitor the fish farms and provide training to farmers willing to start a fishery. 

Published: 02-11-2017 08:23

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