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First Fish Hatchery Set Up in Rajasthan

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INDIA - The first fish hatchery has been set up by an individual with help from the state's fisheries department in Bikaner's Chattargarh area recently. More are likely to come up soon

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"Over 80 per cent of fish consumed for food in Rajasthan are bought from other states. It makes them more expensive and unaffordable for regular consumption. The project, launched recently by the department, aims mainly at generating employment and easy availability of fish in the state," DS Chhawda, deputy director of fisheries said.

TimesOfIndia reports that under the project, private individuals are being invited to set up hatcheries.

"The department is providing interested individuals financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh to set up a hatchery. In exchange, the individual has to give 25 per cent of the total fish cultivated each year free of cost to the department for 10 years," said the officer.

After 10 years, the cultivator will be able to keep 100 per cent of the production. Besides, the onus of procuring land for the hatchery will be on the cultivator. "The land will have to be mortgaged to the department for the first 10 years," said the officer.

He added there are patches in the region where rain water harvesting can be used for fish farming. "The cultivators will be encouraged for rain water harvesting besides tapping the available water resources in the area," the officer said.

However, the project has been met with minor problems after the launch. Cultivators are saying that the mortgage of the land and giving 25 per cent of the total cultivation to the department are quite harsh conditions.

According to an estimate, the total market requirement in the state is about one lakh metric tonne. However, current estimated production is 30,000 metric tonnes.