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Fish farming: Push to use biofloc technology

Fish farming: Push to use biofloc technology
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Kolkata: The state Panchayats and Rural Development department is laying special emphasis on fish farming through biofloc technology with the objective of livelihood support amidst the COVID -19 pandemic situation.

West Bengal Comprehensive Area Development Corporation (CADC) under the aegis of the department which is executing and pushing for biofloc to be adopted by the SHG groups across the state has set the ball rolling by setting up an infrastructure of fish cultivation through biofloc at its own office at Mrittika in Salt Lake. It is expected to be readied by this week.

"Biofloc is a technology using which one can produce fishes significantly in large quantities (in a small volume of water) as compared to the traditional form of aquaculture in large ponds. It is easy to monitor the fish movement, their behaviour and abnormalities as they will remain within a tank which in turn will facilitate taking the corrective measures immediately, " said a senior official of CADC.

Probiotic and molluscs are used to eliminate chances of food particles and excreta of the fishes in polluting the water . These components produce planktons and prevent the production of ammonium nitrate which is toxic for the fishes. An aerator is used to add oxygen to the water.

"We will be creating a biofloc model in each of our 23 projects in the state and accordingly training will be provided. The seeds will also be supplied by us. The interested SHGs will bear have to bear the other costs. However the scheme can also be taken up under MGNREGA in which the government will bear the entire cost, " said the official.

The technique is already being practised at Tamluk in East Midnapore, Ayodha Hills in Purulia and in some semi arid zones in Murshidabad, Jhargram and Birbhum.

Air-breathing fish rearing in cement tank by 60 farmers in Kolaghat has already seen success. Every 8 feet by 6 ft tank were provided with 500 seeds on an average each costing Re 1. In three to four months each tank produces 25 kg on an average (koi, singi, magur, ) whose average price is Rs 250 to 300 per kg. The income from each tank is around Rs 7000 a month so for 60 tanks the income is Rs 42,0000.

A wide variety of fishes can be cultivated through this technology like Koi, Magur, Singi, Telapiya, Pabda and even prawn.

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