By KS Correspondent
In order to provide livelihood to the young generation of Kashmir with a spirit of entrepreneurship the J&K Fisheries has embarked on a program of promoting privatization of trout fish farming in the state.
Under this program the Department with Central and State support, has provided technical and financial support to in establishing 197 such units so far. These units ,According to Mr. R. K. Dogra Director Fisheries, are running with, great success and are providing viable means of earnings to the beneficiaries,” Besides, “The introduction of the scheme has not only helped to mitigate unemployment but has also ensured production of trout fish to large extent,” he added. Elaborating further, the Director said that J&K with cold water and temperate climate has very high potential for trout culture.
Under this Program of privatization of trout farming the department provides full financial support to the beneficiaries. Presently total amount provided by the Department for the scheme is Rs.2 lacs which includes both construction and other essentials required for the establishment of the unit such as construction of one pair of race ways and cost of seed, feed and equipment.
In 1984, a Trout fish Farming Project was established in Kokernag with the assistance of EEC (European Economic Council) which is the largest trout farming project in Asia. The breeding and rearing of Rainbow trout was successfully carried out under the dynamic leadership of the Commissioner of Fisheries Dr. N. A. Jan. To make it a viable project a feed mill (Model Otavenger) was transported from Holland to cater to the demand of feed which yielded good results
Asifa Khan, Deputy Director Fisheries (Central), said the Department is trying to promote and popularize privatization of the trout fish by providing facilities to the private entrepreneurs from ground construction works to the provision of feed and seed. She further added that Modern technology was imported from Norway, Denmark and Scotland and after 1990 efforts were made to introduce the technology to the public to encourage privatization of fish farming throughout the State. She further clarified that trout farmers fetch good market price for their produce and demand is increasing day by day. “Privatization of trout farming is a joint venture in which the department and the private farmers specially the unemployed youth work together to boost the fish production in the state,” said Asifa.
The state of J&K has a unique topography with three agro-climatic zones, like the tropical Jammu division, the temperature Kashmir Valley and the Cold arid zone of Ladakh with the availability of plenty of natural water resources spread over an area of about 0.4 lack hectares. Besides other species of fishes, J&K is rich in trout fish which is not only famous for its taste in the state but also within the other states of India.
Apart from men, the department is also encouraging the women entrepreneurs in fish farming business and can make a big contribution to the economic well being of the family, communities, unemployed and women empowerment. “Women entrepreneurship has been recognized as important source of economic growth,” said Rakhshanda Zargar, Technical Officer Fisheries.
“Women entrepreneurs can create jobs for themselves and others as well. Our Department has number of success stories regarding female beneficiaries in trout culture who have achieved a great success in this business,” she added.
The department of fisheries with active support from government of India and the state government introduced trout fish culture in private sector and so far 197 trout units have been established.
“The units are running successfully providing viable means of earning to the beneficiaries,” said Rakhshanda. “The introduction of the scheme has not only helped to mitigate unemployment but has also ensured production of trout fish to large extent,” she added.
History of trout introduction
In 1899, the first attempt of introducing Solomonids (Trout) in J & K (Kashmir) was carried out by F. J. Mitchal who reared them in private premises of private carpet factory at Bagi-i-Dilawar Khan. Later in 1901, primitive types of trout hatcheries were established at Achabal, Anantnag and Harwan Srinagar under the guidance of Mitchal. The introduction of trout fish in natural waters of Valley was accidental due to floods in 1903. The fish was stocked in some streams which were subsequently developed for sport fisheries (Angling) in Kashmir attracting anglers throughout the world and the Department of Fisheries started developing trout culture (mainly brown trout) with locally available technology. The trout thus produce in hatcheries or in trout farms was restricted to elite class only.