Tribal fishermen of Manipur are doing advanced fish farming by adopting Pen Culture Technique
Helped in increasing livelihood.
Fish Farming with Pen Culture Technique or aquaculture system | Agriculture and fisheries are the primary means of livelihood for the tribal population of Manipur, a small state in the eastern corner of India. But due to the non-utilization of the water sources here, fish had to be imported from other states.
The state has many ponds, lakes, and reservoirs, but their full potential needs to be utilized. About 95 percent of the state’s population consumes fish. Still, their needs were not met by the state’s production alone. Especially after the construction of the Mapithel Dam displaced a large population and submerged large tracts of land.
This made it difficult to make a living from agriculture, and the state’s most prominent tribal population had to look for other livelihood options. In such a situation, more possibilities were seen in fish farming. ICAR-CIFRI took the initiative to promote fish farming with pen culture techniques to increase their livelihood.
Population Affected by Mapithel Dam
Due to the construction of the Mapithel Dam in Manipur, a significant displacement problem arose. Along with this came the crisis of livelihood. In such a situation, the affected people formed a cooperative society named “The Mapithel Dam Affected Fishery Co-operative Society.” It has also registered 370 members. Fishing was the displaced people’s primary livelihood source, but the reservoirs were not stocked with fish.
Helping the displaced tribal population
ICAR-CIFRI took the initiative to improve the livelihood of tribal people by giving two ICAR-CIFRI Pen and HDPE pens (0.1-hectare size pen) along with 50,000 fish seeds, 2 tons of pelletized feed stocking material. This step was taken so that the number of fish in the reservoir could increase. In addition, a 10 meter long motorized FRP boat was also donated by ICAR-CIFRI. This initiative aimed to improve the livelihood of the tribal population by promoting fisheries.
ICAR-CIFRI trained 14 tribal fishermen on “Reservoir Fisheries Management for Productivity Augmentation” in July 2022 before starting pen culture fish farming in reservoirs. Along with this, an awareness program was conducted at Ramrei village, Mapithel reservoir site to increase the awareness among fishermen about reservoir fisheries management.
Both ICAR-CIFRI Pen and HDPE Pen were installed in the reservoir. The height was adjusted in such a way that the fishes do not get washed away during the monsoon. The pen culture technology of Stocked Indian Major Carps (IMC) was managed by the Society in PPP mode.
Increase in the number of fish
Indian major carp seed was stocked in pens at the rate of 250 fingerlings per square meter with a ratio of 2:1:1. The fishes were fed well for 5 months from September 2022 to January 2023. It resulted in 2601 kg of katla and 898.8 kg of rohu fish.
These fishes obtained from the pen were released into the reservoir to increase the fish population. It also increased the livelihood of the tribal population. The pen culture technique has resulted in a substantial increase in the fish population, giving a new ray of hope to the tribal population of Manipur.
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