Bhubaneswar: To provide employment to people during the pandemic period, the Odisha government has launched a new scheme for promoting intensive aquaculture through Biofloc technology in fisheries, a minister said.
Fisheries and Animal Resources Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo said the scheme will provide livelihood support to entrepreneurs, unemployed youth and interested progressive fish farmers and will also increase fish production in the state. He said this scheme is most suitable for youths who face unemployment during the pandemic.
Biofloc based farming system is a new technology for the promotion of intensive fish/ shrimp production in a limited area without significantly increasing the usage of the basic natural resources of water and land.
A person having small landholding (as small as 150-200 square metre of land) and having either municipal piped water supply or bore well water supply can establish this business with a small investment.
This programme aims to support fish farmers and young entrepreneurs for generation of income and livelihood support, he said.
Biofloc system is suitable for growing freshwater fish species such as GIFT Tilapia, Magur, Pangasius, Anabas, Common Carp and others depending on local market demands.
In Biofloc technology, the waste organic matter in the tank, such as feed waste, is digested using probiotics (helpful bacteria) and carbon source such as molasses and gets converted to fish feed.
In normal pond based farming system, one acre of an earthen tank (4000 square metre area) produces about 2,000 kg of fish in 6 months; while in biofloc fish farming system, the same 2000 kg fish can be produced only from 4 small tanks of each 4-metre diameter and 1.2-metre depth installed in a floor area of about 100-150 square metre, the minister said.
Each biofloc tank is stocked with about 1,000-1,500 numbers of quality fish (2-3 cm) or fingerlings (8-10 cm) with a target of 500 kg fish production over a 6 month period.
Fish grows to about 200 grams within 3 months and 700 -800 grams within 6 months.
Therefore, depending on the local market demand, fish can be partially harvested on a daily basis to generate daily income for farmers. Biofloc farming system is also suitable for urban and semi-urban areas.
The minister said it can be set up even on terraces of buildings and backyard. It offers live or fresh fish to surrounding customers thus fetching higher market prices for the producer.
The unit cost for installation of a Biofloc unit of 2 tanks is Rs 1.50 lakh, while a biofloc unit of 6 tanks costs approximately Rs 4 lakh.
The state government provides a subsidy of 40 per cent while 60 per cent subsidy is provided to SC & ST beneficiaries for this scheme.
This new and emerging technology will provide an accelerated boost to the fish production of the state and encourage small landholders and entrepreneurs to take up fish farming in the state, the minister said, adding that the government will provide all technical know-how to implement the project.