Ludhiana – Fish and shrimp farmers from different districts of the State attended monthly meeting of Innovative Fish Farmers Association (IFFA) at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana. Meeting addressed queries of the farmers besides providing important technical inputs, the farmers were sensitized about monsoon care of fish ponds. They were apprised of key management practices, including liming, flooding, overflow, stock escape/loss, dyke strength and entry of unwanted predatory and weed fish in the pond with canal water during monsoon months. In view of breeding season of fish, farmers were also advised to procure quality seed from reliable hatcheries and stock them in nursery ponds for on farm rearing of fingerlings, required for stocking the production ponds in March/April next year.
Farmers were also motivated to adopt pangas catfish culture, which will not only enhance productivity of their ponds by three times, but also earn them double income as compared to carp culture, in a short period of 6 months. They were educated that pangas catfish production within the State will also check entry of ice preserved pangas catfish in Punjab from far off states, which is suspected to be contaminated with formalin and hence need to be examined to ensure consumer safety.
Farmers were enlightened with an insight about various aspects of shrimp farming from seed procurement to production and marketing of shrimp to national & International traders. Progressive fish farmer Mr. Jasvir Singh of Village Karodian, District Ludhiana, who started an entrepreneurship in fish value addition and fish marketing recently, also interacted with the farmers to motivate them to develop a farmer based marketing channels in the State for higher economic returns.
He invited shrimp farmers to come forward for identifying and developing more effective channels for marketing shrimp on competitive rates within and outside the State. Sensory evaluation of shrimp brought by fish cum shrimp farmer of Fazilka, Mr. Raj Kumar, added more flavor to his experience sharing interaction with fellow farmers. An interface of farmers with representative of a private fish/shellfish feed company was also arranged for sharing of information and feedback recording, with special reference to regional needs. The next meeting will be held during the upcoming Pashu Paln Mela of GADVASU in September, where the IFFA will set up an exhibition stall for information and interaction with fish farmers and other farmers/youth/entrepreneurs aspiring to adopt fish framing.