Aquaculture: netting profits despite scarce resources

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
15 February 2007, at 12:00am

INDIA - Water management holds the key to the future. Successful farming depends to a large extent on minimal water wastage, while at the same time increasing crop yield.

PRIZE CATCH: Mr. A. Ambalavanan, a fish farmer at Sikkal in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu seen with his catch.

Though there are several water conserving technologies available at present, farmers still largely depend on traditional methods for conserving water such as digging pits and desilting ponds and tanks.

Pit technology

Mr. A. Ambalavanan is one such farmer in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu.

He has dug about 4 pits in his 5 acre land. All the pits are about 100x120 feet connected with a pipe at the bottom.

"The land was totally dry with practically no water facility and I had great difficulty in raising my coconut and banana crops. I tried sinking some tubewells, which yielded only salt water as the lands are near the sea."

Water scarcity

The surface soil was hard with a lot of white powdery salt formations on the surface. "It was then I decided to dig the pits to collect rainwater during the monsoon to overcome the acute water scarcity," he explained.

He is at present growing local fish varieties such as Rogu, Katla and Meergal in the ponds. "During summer, I see to it that at least one or two ponds have water in them, to raise the fishes," he said.

The fish were grown to supplement income during the initial stages of his coconut and banana crops.

"Being an organic farmer I feed the fishes only Panchagavya, maize powder and groundnut cake." The fish take about 5-6 months to reach full growth. At present he sells the fish at the rate of Rs. 40 per kilo.

Source: The Hindu