State to start cultivation of unconventional fishes through SHGs using solar technology

Kolkata: The state Panchayats and Rural Development (P & RD) department will start cultivation of some unconventional fishes through its Self Help Groups (SHGs) by using solar technology in running aerators for maintaining the level of oxygen in water.

West Bengal Comprehensive Area Development Corporation (CADC)—an autonomous organisation under P& RD department which is executing this project has decided to install such solar devices in a number of ponds that have been earmarked for these unconventional fish cultivation. The farmers will not have to pay anything for this purpose.

"Till date, we have been using either petrol or diesel for running machines for maintainence of the oxygen level in water. Issues of power cut and high price of diesel was a deterrent. Now we will be using aerators which are priced at around Rs 40,000 each for increasing the oxygen level in water. The machines are being procured from China and Taiwan. Financial assistance has been received under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana for this project. 80 such machines will be procured as of now and extended in phases with availability of funds," a senior CADC official said.

The technology will be fruitful in cultivation of any type of fish that can grow in ponds or large waterbodies. Manipur's Pengma fish which is similar to that of Puti fish, Amur fish which has a similar look as a Rohu fish, Milk Fish popularly known as Changos Changos are some of the fishes that can be effectively cultivated.

However, in case of big ponds, the change in weather conditions results in deficiency in oxygen level so the risk factor is very much there.

Hence, if aerators can be used to increase the oxygen level in water there is hardly any risk. Solar technology for running aerators reduces the cost.

According to experts, a little bit more care can be instrumental in successfully cultivating these unconventional fish varieties then we will have other options besides the conventional Rohu, Katla and Mrigel variety of fishes.

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