Rural fish farm plan announced
Mar 22 : Rangpur-Dinajpur Rural Service (RDRS) has taken a massive plan of farming 3.5 crore GIFT Tilapia fingerlings in rice fields to produce 700 tonnes additional fish worth Taka 11 crore this season in 10 northern districts.
The programme is now being implemented after the poor and marginal farmers achieved tremendous success by producing 293 tonnes additional fish and 1.2 crore fingerlings in rice fields to improve their livelihoods in these districts last year.
The 3-year project of ‘Enhancing Impacts of Decentralized (fish) Seed Production (EIDSP)’ funded by Department of International Development (DFID) of the UK is being implemented and will be completed by June 2011 in Bangladesh, India and Nepal.
RDRS in collaboration with 11 partner organisations has been working since last year for producing quality fingerlings and GIFT Tilapia fish in rice fields to help the poor earning profits, tackling poverty and meeting their nutrition demand. This season, a total of 3.5 crore Tilapia fingerlings will be produced involving 8,827 rice field farmers and last year’s successful farmers, who are already preparing their boro-rice fields for breeding Tilapia broods during this Boro season. To make the programme successful, 2.3 lakh GIFT Tilapia broods fish have been reared in cages by the Satellite Brood Rearers at the community level and these broods will be distributed to the enrolled farmers for breeding in 790 hectares of rice fields.
The selected farmers have been developing small ditches in boro rice fields now and they will release the Tilapia broods in their rice-fields late March to April 2010, breeding will continue during April- May when the farmers will start selling their fingerlings.
Besides, the project will support to 709 seasonal pond farmers for rearing the major carp’s dhani (half-inch sized fries) and a total of 709 kg of dhani will be distributed to the seasonal pond farmers that will produce more 3.5 million fingerlings approximately.
“Because of availability of the quality fingerlings at community level, the farmers are becoming more interested in culturing fish and requesting for more Tilapia broods this time,” Project Coordinator Sattyanarayan Roy of EIDSP told the news agency yesterday. He said that more than 3.5 lakh GIFT Tilapia fingerlings worth Taka 4 crore will be produced during Boro season and 700 metric tonnes additional Tilapia fish worth Taka 7 crore in these 10 northern districts before the T-Aman harvest this year.
After completion of the project by the year 2011, a total of 21,000 targeted farmers of these districts will produce six crore GIFT Tilapia fingerlings and 6,000 tonnes additional Tilapia fish worth Taka sixty crore annually, the experts said.
Like the last year, the project will be implemented in Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj this year in the region.
Using the proven technology of producing GIFT Tilapia fingerlings, 8,833 rural poor farmers successfully produced fingerlings on 886 hectares rice fields and 1,734 farmers cultivated carp fingerlings on 98 hectares seasonal ponds last year.
The involved families also then earned extra profits from the same rice-fields without hampering rice production and got nutrients from fish regularly and it also reduced use of pesticides and fertilizers improving soil health and environment.
Director of RDRS and Team Leader of EIDSP Dr Syed Samsuzzaman told BSS that the proven environment friendly technologies for making available quality fingerlings to the door end of farmers has been helping them to alleviate poverty and getting nutrition.
Renowned fisheries expert Dr Benoy Kumar Barman of the Worldfish Centre told that each of the involved farmer household will be able to produce 2,500 Tilapia fingerlings from their rice fields of 20 decimal areas on an average.
Last week, Vansi Reddi, Research Associate of National Resource International Ltd visited the project in Kurigram and Nilphamari, talked to the farmers and expressed satisfaction over the lowest cost project to facilitate fish farming benefiting the farmers.
During their visits to Rangpur last year, Prof. Dr David Little of University of Stirling in the UK, Dr Madhav Shrestha of Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science of Nepal and Kuddus Ansary of India saw brighter prospects of the project.