Importance: – Fish is one of the favorite items in the food menu of almost 60% of Indians. So market demand is always high for fish items. If we consider the global demand also, the total requirement becomes very high. The main source of fish is from the sea. But the global fish harvest from the sea is decreasing rapidly.
The only way can ensure availability of fish to meet increasing demand is through fish farms. Inland freshwater fish farming plays major role here. We have large number of natural ponds here. With a good business plan and decision, we can convert this opportunity to a successful small scale farm.
Advantage of fish farming: – Setting up commercial fish raising business has many advantages. The main advantages of setting up commercial fish growing business in India are listed below.
- Fish and fish products has a huge demand in India. Fish is one of the most common and favorite item in the food menu of more than 60 percent of Indian people.
- Market demand and price is always high for fish and fish related products in India.
- Indian climate is very suitable for fish production and fish growing business.
- Various types of easily found water sources are available. You can fill your pond with water from your nearest river, lake or any other water sources.
- Various types of fast growing fish species are available. Farming those fast growing fish species ensure rapid returns of your investment.
- Easily available and low cost labor. You can also start integrated fish farming business with various types of animals, birds, crops and vegetables. Integrated fish farming reduces feeding costs and ensures maximum production.
- Fish business in India is really very profitable and risk less business. Commercial fish growing can create new income and employment opportunities. Unemployed educated young people can start fish farming business. This will provide them both financial freedom and permanent income opportunities.
- People with other occupation or job can also start fish farming business without impacting their regular work. If you have suitable land and facilities for fish growing then you can easily start doing this business.
- If you want, you can also apply for bank loan. And there are more benefits of starting fish farming in India. If you have suitable land and proper facilities don’t misuse the possibilities. Start raising some fish. If you are new then start small scale fish farm business and gather experience. You can also visit some fish farms practically to have some knowledge.
Starting fish Farming:
Starting a fish farm in India is not so easy. For setting up profitable fish farming business, you have to go through some procedures. I have shortly described various steps of fish farming in India.
How to prepare Fish Pond: –
The most important infrastructure of fish farming business is a pond. We can’t do commercial fish farming business without a pond. You can use your existing pond or construct a new one for fish farming in India. We can raise fish in both seasonal and permanent pond. In case of fish farming in seasonal pond where water will not exist for whole year, we have to rise some fast growing and quick maturing fish breeds. Before stocking minnow in the pond prepare it properly. Clean the bottom of the pond perfectly and then fertilize it. Optimize the PH value of pond water and soil. High quality pond environment ensure high production and profit. See full pond management system.
Selection of Fish Breed:-
Selection of fish breeds play major role in the sustainability of our business. The decision should be based on market demand, maintenance point of view, and availability of resource, effective utilization of resources etc. carp items such as catla, Rohu, Grass carp, common carp etc are suitable for Indian ponds. Other breeds such as Tilapia, Catfish etc also cultivated in India ponds. Polyculture (growing two or more fish breeds in same pond) is the suitable strategy for optimum utilization of resources. You can get quality fish seeds (baby fishes) from nearest fish farmer or from fisheries department.
Fish feeding and maintenance: –
Special care must be taken while growing fishes. The water PH value must be 7 to 8 for optimum growth. Chances of virus attacks must be avoided. The pond should be protected from predators. Daily scouting should be done and suspected fishes should the isolated from pond to avoid spreding of disease all over the pond. Diseases can be treated by treating water using salt, potassium permanganate solution, chemicals etc. it is better to prevent diseases than curing it.
Local market is the easily available market for majority of farmers. But the profit will be less compared to exporting. Fish meat can be processed to produce value added products and the can be exported to foreign markets. Formation of farmers association can help for this marketing. The advantage of local market is that, the selling of fish is not a problem here and farmers can get a decent income. So strength of both markets ensures the success of this farming. Fish growing is becoming one of the main farm fields which reduce the unemployment issue in village areas. So, opportunity always exists here for those who love fish farming.