Addressing a gathering after inspecting a newly developed fish farm at Bhosga village in Jewargi taluk of Kalaburagi district, he said that of the waterbodies spread across 1.8 lakh hectares in the State, around 5,000 hectares would be identified for developing semi-intensive freshwater aquaculture, reports TheHindu.
Mr Madhwaraj said that farmers, whose land had become unfit for agriculture due to water-logging and saline soil conditions, would be encouraged to take up fish farming to boost their income.
Appanna Bhovi, a farmer who had taken up aquaculture on three acres, released about 25,000 fingerlings of species such as catla, common carp, mrigal and rohu into the pond. They would be ready for harvest in eight months and an average income of Rs. 3 lakh was expected after one harvest, Mr Madhwaraj said.
Mr Madhwaraj said that many farmers in Andhra Pradesh had adopted fish farming because of favourable conditions such as availability of water, good weather and fertile soil.
“As the demand for fish is high in the domestic market and abroad, it can help farmers make a regular earning,” he said.
The department would guide and provide technical support to farmers to take up aquaculture on their farms. Mr Madhwaraj said that the department would hold talks with representatives of banks to release loans to farmers who were willing to take up fish farming.
Earlier, he inspected the Aquarium Centre located at Children’s Park in Kalaburagi that was closed a decade ago. Mr Madhwaraj said that the Kalaburagi Zilla Panchayat had spent around Rs. 12 lakh for the renovation of the centre. Another Rs. 25 lakh would be released either by the Tourism Department or through the Hyderabad Karnataka Regio Development Board for the work. He instructed officials to set up a counter to sell fish seeds.