Farmers in Bardiya switch to fish farmingMany farmers in Bardiya district engaged in production of cereal crops have started turning towards fish farming because of lure of a handsome income.
Many farmers in Bardiya district engaged in production of cereal crops have started turning towards fish farming because of lure of a handsome income.
Quite a number of farmers here are switching to fish farming, as it ensures higher income than from traditional paddy production. Also, growing fishes is not a laborious job, while gestation period for fish is relatively shorter, and one does not need to fork out huge investment to start fish farming. These are some of the attractions that have lured people towards fish farming.
What’s more market for fishes produced in Bardiya is not limited to neighbouring districts such as Baanke, Surkhet, Dang and Kailali, but can be exported to India as well.
Led by these factors, fish farming has now expanded in 380 hectares of land in the district, with annual production standing at 1,128 tonnes.
Today, Sorahawa village development committee alone is home to 270 fish ponds. These ponds are spread in 155 hectares of land. Rapid expansion of fish farms has given this village the moniker, ‘pocket area for fish production’ in Bardiya.
Ram Nath Tharu, a farmer from the village, said he decided to grow fishes after earning a living from traditional means of farming started becoming difficult. Lately, famers here have also established Fish Farmers’ Cooperative to support people like Tharu, who need support.
Another popular area for fish farming is Badhaiya Lake which spreads in 70 hectares of land. Other villages popular for fish production are Maina Pokhari, Kalika, Baniyabhar and Deudhakala.
Parashuram Raut, senior officer at the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) Bardiya said fish farming is being further expanded in another 100 bighas of land under the Agriculture Modernisation Project. The project has earmarked subsidies of up to Rs30 million in aggregate.
As fish farming is becoming popular, the DADO Bardiya is considering opening a separate office by the end of the fiscal year to focus on fish farming, according to Raut.
DADO Bardiya has been promoting commercial fish production in the district for the last eight years. In this regard, it has been providing a subsidy of Rs100,000 per hectare to farmers engaged in fish production.
The department generally extends support to those planning to carry out fish farming in small ponds and settlements of freed Kamaiyas. It also supports those engaged in production of fish fry.