Better returns lure farmers to fisheryPeople in the area have been attracted towards fish farming because of the good returns offered by the enterprise.
Farmers in Hadikhola-7 of Masine have started constructing ponds to raise fish. There are now 112 fish ponds in the village.
Last year, the local farmers earned Rs 2 million by raising fish rearing on the banks of the Masine River.
Rewati Raman Paudel, chief of the District Agriculture Office (DAO), Makwanpur, said the office would be providing a grant of Rs 1.3 million to the fish farmers this year.
Farmers have been doing commercial fish farming in the area from the last two years. In the initial phase, a non-governmental organisation MDI Nepal provided fingerlings, technical support to construct ponds and other logistic support.
A local farmer Sano Kanchha Lama said they quit growing vegetables and food crops to go into fish farming. Lama has been rearing 7,000 fishes in five ponds.
The DAO has been providing Rs 10,000 per pond to the farmers in a bid to ensure food safety and enhance their living conditions. This year, the DAO issued such grants to 20 new farmers.
Paudel said the farmers were also attracted to the occupation due to the ample supply of water in the area. They have easy access to underground water.
Another farmer Ram Hari Bista said he had dug two new ponds after he earned Rs 50,000 by selling the fish harvested from his single pond last year.
According to him, the farmers are attracted to the occupation as they can get good returns with less effort compared to the cultivation of food crops and vegetables. “People have been producing fish in more than 100 ponds in Masine,” he said.
Bista said that the farmers were also encouraged to engage in fish production as they could sell their products easily. “There is no problem of market to sell our products,” he added.