According to a senior official in the Fisheries department, two varieties of fish - namely, Pangasius and Tilapia, will be grown in these six reservoirs in the cage culture method. The method is popular in countries like Vietnam, China and Cambodia and the State of Jharkhand has adopted the cage culture method successfully in recent years. Both the fish varieties chosen by the fisheries department are known for their low fat content and high levels of protein.
The State Government decided to adopt the method after Finance Minister Etela Rajender and Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy visited Jharkhand accompanied by officials of the fisheries department in October 2014. It involves growing fish in cages of 6 metre height, 4 metre width and 4 metre breadth. Two batteries of cages will be dipped in each reservoir. Each battery will consist of 6 cages. Two of them will be nursery cages and four will be grow-out cages.
Reservoirs identified for the demonstration project include- Koilsagar (Mahabubnagar), Pocharam (Medak), Nizamsagar and Sri Ram Sagar in Nizamabad district, Kadem reservoir (Adilabad) and Lower Maneru Dam (Karimnagar). Officials said the project was estimated to cost Rs 167.56 lakh. Of this, the state government bears Rs 100.56 lakh and the remaining Rs 67 lakh subsidy has been released by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB). The government also sent 167 farmers to Chandil reservoir in Jharkhand as part of the ‘Exposure visit’, which was also funded by NFDB.
The process of tenders has been concluded and two companies have been given orders. RVR & Co of Bengaluru will take up the demo project at Lower Maneru, Nizamsagar, SRSP and Kadem. Varanasi-based Dass and Kumar’s will execute the project at Pocharam and Koilsagar reservoirs. Installation of cages was completed at Koilsagar recently. “Traditional fish species like Rohuor Bochchelu cannot be grown in this method, as they cannot survive in highly confined spaces. The two species identified for the project are local to India and the productivity in this method will be considerably higher than traditional fish farming,” said an official.