Kapilvastu to become self-reliant in fishKapilvastu district is on track to becoming self-reliant in fish production, with annual production of fish topping 1,200 tonnes in the last fiscal year.
Kapilvastu district is on track to becoming self-reliant in fish production, with annual production of fish topping 1,200 tonnes in the last fiscal year.
A large number of locals in the district are now engaged in fish farming, lured by handsome returns. Currently, 700 hectares of land in the district is being used for aquaculture, enabling Kapilvastu to substitute imports with domestic production.
Five years ago, the district used to meet 80 percent of its fish demand through imports. Now, only 30 percent of the fish available in the district is imported. Fish produced in the district now meets 50 percent of the demand and another 20 percent is imported from nearby district, according officials of Kapilvastu District Agriculture Development Office (DADO).
“The district, within a couple of years, will outperform Janakpur and Rupandehi, two largest fish producing districts, in terms of fish production,” said Khursed Ahamed Khan, chief of DADO Kapilvastu.
Kapilvastu used to rear fish on around 400 hectares of land three years ago, generating 800 tonnes in output. Now, the district is producing 1,200 tonnes of fish worth Rs240 million.
By the end of this fiscal year, additional 100 hectares of land will be used to rear fish, according to Khan. This is expected to end Kapilvastu’s reliance on fish imported from other districts.
Farmers of the district are rearing fish species like silver carp, grass carp, bighead carp, rohu and naini. Productivity is very high in western and northern sides of the district.
With increasing number of farmers shifting to commercial fish farming from traditional crops, the district is turning into an aquaculture hub. Last year alone, 66 new farmers started rearing fish, while 40 new farmers are all set to join this profession this year, according to DADO Kapilvastu.
Farhan Khan of Shivaraj Municipality owns the largest fishery business in the district. His farm sprawls across 11 hectares. Khan, who has invested Rs27 million in his farm, is rearing fish in 40 ponds. “We are selling fish worth Rs6 to Rs7 million every year,” said Khan. He is also supplying fish fries to 18 to 20 districts.
Bharat Bam Karki of Banganga Municipality is another farmer, who has been rearing fish for the last two years. “The future prospect of fishery business looks bright,” said Karki, who has invested over Rs2.5 million in his business.
According to government officials, fish farmers earn three times more than traditional farmers, who grow paddy and wheat. “Therefore, locals are being attracted towards fish farming,” said Umesh Shrestha, officer at DADO Kapilva stu.