Trout farming gaining popularity in KhotangKhotang locals have adopted commercial rainbow trout fish farming as one of their major professions.
Khotang locals have adopted commercial rainbow trout fish farming as one of their major professions.
Due to increased demand in domestic as well as Indian markets and high profitability, many people are getting into the business.
Sagarmatha Aqua Private Limited had first introduced trout farming three years ago setting up a hatchery near Rambakhola River. Sagarmatha is poised to earn Rs1 million this year by selling one tonne of the fish. “We have already sold 700kg fish worth Rs700,000 so far this year,” said Surya Bahadur Rai, one of the promoters of the company. “We are on track to sell an additional 300kg within two months.” Inspired by the pioneer company’s achievements, many others in the area have replicated the business model.
Mohan Gurung of Hauchur and Sangram Rai of Ratanchha have already started commercial farming of rainbow trout. Gurung estimates his business will start generating profits within a couple of years.
Sagarmatha has made it easier for others to enter the business as it also produces and sells baby fry. The company’s promoter Rai aims to make Khotang and other eastern hilly districts self-reliant in fish and fry.
“Probably, we are the first one to produce rainbow trout in the eastern hills,” said Rai. “But we think the region will be a hub in near future, since the cold climatic condition best suits this species of fish.”
The company has not only introduced a new business to the region, but also has improvised the construction of raceway, a pond with running water required to rear trout. It has used plastic instead of concrete to construct the raceway. “It takes Rs1 million to build a concrete raceway,” said Rai. “But we can build a plastic raceway at Rs100,000.”
Since this species of fish is reared in cold running water with high amount of dissolved oxygen, it tastes good and is considered healthy. Also, the high amount of omega-3 fatty acid found in this fish helps reduce risks of heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.