Government Brings Trout Farming to Mountainous Areas of India

5 September 2014, at 1:00am

INDIA - Trout farming is being introduced in the Highlands of the Leh Region to provide livelihood support to tribal populations in this harsh agro-climate.

ICAR-Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research (DCFR), Bhimtal has been assigned the vital role of improving socio-economic status.

The whole of the district is mountainous with three parallel ranges of the Himalayas, the Zanskar, the Ladakh and the Karakoram. Most of the population lives in valleys of the Shayok, Indus and Zanskar rivers.

The main occupations are cultivation (37.92 per cent), agriculture labour (4.28 per cent), household industry (1.24 per cent) and other works (56.56 per cent).

DCFR has therefore initiated a highland trout farming programme under Tribal Sub Plan during 2013-14.

A detailed survey was conducted to identify the suitable location for trout farming and beneficiaries to develop raceways for trout culture and propagation in collaboration with High Mountain Arid Agriculture Research Institute, Leh (HMAARI, SKUAST-K) and RRS, CAZRI-Leh.

The trout culture programme was initiated in Chushout Shamma village of Chushout block, during October 2013 which is about 20 kilometres from the Leh district head quarters and located near the bank of a tributary of River Indus at 3280 meter above sea level which is a perennial source of water.

Initially five new raceways were constructed and three raceways were renovated belonging to four beneficiaries of the village.

Around 10,000 rainbow trout seeds were released into the raceways. The programme is catching up fast in the region and five new raceways are being developed belonging to four women farmers. The support from DCFR is helping livelihood enhancement in the region.