Commercial fish farming gaining popularityWith an increasing number of farmers shifting to commercial fish farming from traditional crops, Dayanagar VDC in Rupendehi district has become one of the model villages for fish farming.
With an increasing number of farmers shifting to commercial fish farming from traditional crops, Dayanagar VDC in Rupendehi district has become one of the model villages for fish farming.
Fisheries in Dayanagar started 32 years ago, but commercial farming gained momentum only after the launch of a “fisheries campaign” seven years ago.
Around 550 farmers are involved in commercial fish farming in the village, producing nearly 1,000 tonnes of fish annually, according to Agriculture Development Office. Of the total fish output, 600kg is supplied to districts like Butwal, Bhairahawa, Pokhara and Kathmandu. The village records an annual transaction of about Rs250 million. A farmer earns Rs2 million by raising 100,000 fingerlings annually on an average.
Fish species like silver carp, grass carp, bighead carp, rohu and naini are raised in 1,200 ponds spread on 167 hectares. Productivity stands at six tonnes per hectare. To promote and boost the sector, the farmers have formed 12 farmers groups and a cooperative named Jaldevi Fisheries Production Cooperative Association. “The agriculture development office and fisheries development centre have been supporting the farmers’ groups to produce fish on a commercial scale,” said Punya Prasad Chaudhary, president of the Fisheries Entrepreneurs Association. “Farmers are provided with regular training.”
Fisheries have become one of the major income generating activities in Dayanagar, with every household having at least one fish pond.
The village is also gaining popularity as a tourist hotspot, with nearly 200 farmers and tourists visiting the village daily. To cater to the visitors, a number of homestays and restaurant have been set up. Homestay operators take the tourists to the ponds, provide them with the opportunity to fish and serve them with local fish dishes. The farmers plan to develop the area as “fishing tourism centre”.