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Sustainable raise in fish making in Nagaland

By Watimenla
Great potential exists for expanding the State's fisheries sector due to varied and unique fisheries resources in the form of negligibly utilized and unutilized water resources namely ponds/tanks, wet terrace fields, lakes and reservoirs, swampy/marshy areas, streams and rivers etc. Special efforts have been made through joint ventures between the fish farmers and the Department of Fisheries to promote fish culture by way of adopting semi-intensive to intensive fish culture, paddy-cum-fish culture, reservoir fisheries, integrated farming etc. These efforts led towards sustainable increase in the fish production that directly supplements the GSDP growth rate of 3.58, thereby, providing adequate and tangible opportunities towards livelihood development, nutritional security, revenue generation and employment generation in the country.  

Within the limited ceiling of fund availability on yearly-basis ending the Annual Plan 2010-11 a production of 6585 MT is anticipated which would provide an average per capita consumption of 3.29 kgs fish through local production. In addition, a bulk quantity of 4000 MT fish is supplemented by importing from outside the State that provides total per capita consumption at 5.29 kgs (as per 2001 census). The average productivity levels of fish envisage to achieve from ponds, paddy-cum-fish culture (earthen and semi-permanent embankment) and reservoir fisheries is 1950, 335, 500 and 158 kg/ha/yr respectively.  

Achievements made during the Year Plan 2010-2011:
During the Annual Plan 2010-11, a divisible amount of 200.00 lakhs with an additional amount of Rs. 400.00 lakhs under SPA and Rs. 90.00 lakhs under State Share of CSS schemes, together totaling to Rs. 690.00 lakhs was allocated to implement various schemes.

The State Government's declaration of the “Year of Entrepreneurs” and continuation of the year round State-Wide Road Show Programmes, the Department has showcased its Departmental activities in the districts whereby benefiting the grass root populace of the State.  

  • The Department initiated a new policy “Development of Community-based Fisheries and water bodies” through the Negotiated Loan under RIDF, NABARD wherein, the unutilized resources were brought under fisheries fold by directly involving communities in the rural areas.
  • The Department through the flagship of noble scheme towards up-liftment of women/girls, emphasized on integrating women in fish farming by organizing awareness programmes, trainings under Capacity Building and assisting the grass root women Self Help Groups (SHGs) in providing inputs, additional returns and benefits towards pond management that directly sustains family livelihoods, economic development and food security of the members of the SHGs.
  • The Department initiated in developing a new Demonstration cum Seedling farm/centre at Kade, Kami Village, Pfutsero block, Phek under Fish Farm construction programme.
  • The Department also proposed to implement:- Development of Paddy-cum-Fish culture, Additional Infrastructure for Cold chain/Cold storage project and Compact Area fishery Development Programme (Mission Mode) amounting to a total of Rs. 400.00 lakhs under the Special Plan Assistance (SPA) schemes, where the Planning Commission (State Plan Division) conveyed the approval of the project.
  • The Department successfully implemented the ambitious District Agriculture Plan (DAP) under RKVY by harnessing the untapped water-bodies in the State, which facilitated commendable contribution towards sustainable fish production.

Under the State Plan Schemes, the Department has extended the Capacity Building programme during 2010-11 in commemoration of the “Year of Capacity Building 2008-09”, under which, trainings were imparted to marginal and progressive fish farmers on Intensive Aquaculture in Ponds and Tanks, Value Additions, Ornamental Fisheries etc. Under normal training programmes, 233 fish farmers, technical and ministerial staffs were successfully trained to update the technical know-how and professional skills respectively.             

The Doyang reservoir occupies a water area of 2258 hectares and offers a potential resource for augmenting fish production in the State. Initiating from year 2001, the Department's ranching programme of Doyang Reservoir through stocking of compatible major carp seedling is significantly accounted due to recent record fish catch by locals thereby sustaining good economic returns for livelihood development, food and nutritional security, revenue generation of the communities living in the periphery of the reservoir. On being resulted to such potential economic returns from Doyang reservoir, during the Annual Plan 2009-10, a special package amounting to Rs. 100.00 lakhs is being incurred by the State Government which enabled the Department towards technological management and development by involving the communities towards sustainable utilization of the reservoir for fish production. A marginal increase in average catch of 1 MT was recorded till date i.e. from 355 MT during 2009-10 to 356 MT during 2010-11.             

The system of integrating fish culture in wet terrace paddy fields and rearing of livestock is gaining momentum. The Department has therefore earmarked to implement Paddy-cum-Fish culture and Livestock-cum-Fish culture schemes and activities during the current year 2010-11. Rearing of fish in wet terrace paddy fields is an age-old practice among some tribes in the State and by adoption and perfection to this cultural system the State will tremendously contribute to fish production. The State is endowed with 65,000 ha wet terraced paddy field (as per Statistical Handbook of Nagaland 2008) whereas till date, the Department could harness only about 2835 ha, out of which, 2765 ha is developed as earthen embankment and the remaining 70 ha as semi-permanent embankment. Henceforth, a supplement fish production of 925 MT and 35 MT is anticipated annually from different embankments at an average fish production of 335 and 500 kgs/ha/yr respectively. An amount of Rs. 15.00 lakhs was spent to develop 10 ha of wet terrace paddy fields into semi-permanent embankment to augment the productivity level at 500 kgs/ha/yr. The system of integrating fish culture with livestock rearing in the pond embankment/vicinity of water bodies conceptually aimed towards recycling of animal wastes that gave synergic action with fish culture for production of fish. This practice cuts cost of fish seeds and easily be adopted by local farmers, since livestock rearing is practiced as a backyard activity in the State.  

The Department has also been assisting fish farmers through supply/distribution of fast growing compatible major carp seeds at 50% subsidized rates so as to augment more fish production in the State; that have a direct impact of the farming community towards resources mobilization and income generation in the State. During the Annual Plan 2010-11, 14 million seedlings were supplied that covered an area of 1400 ha. Side by side, compatible Prawn Seeds (Post Larvae) produced through artificial seawater in vitro conditions at Nathanglu Prawn hatchery, Mokokchung are being successfully propagated to a large section of pisciculturists for monoculture or polyculture practices. During the Annual Plan 2010-11, an area of about 5.56 ha. is being covered.  

Central Plan/ Centrally Sponsored Schemes taken up during 2010-11:

  • Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture through Fish Farmers' Development Agency (75%:25%)
  • National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen (75%:25%);
  • National Fisheries Development Board (90%:10%);
  • North Eastern Council Sponsored Schemes (90%:10%)
  • Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) (100%)

Special Plan Assistance (SPA):

Besides the normal State Plan programmes, starting from the Annual Plan 2010-11 onwards, the Department proposes to implement ambitious programme funded under the Special Plan Assistance (SPA) schemes which includes Development of Paddy-cum-Fish Culture (Culture Fisheries), Development of Cold Chain/Cold Storage and Compact Area Fisheries Development Programme (Mission Mode)/Nagaland Fisheries Development project.    April 2011

Source: Department of Fisheries, Nagaland Kohima 
Writer is a news assistant in information office of Nagaland Government.