Cage Fish Farming: A New Hope For Malkangiri Farmers

Malakangiri: With an aim to increase fish production and provide a stable source of income to farmers, the State Fishery Department has introduced cage fish farming in Malkangri district.

The cage fish farming is an intensive fish farming technique in which fish are kept in cubicle-shaped net enclosures that float in water. This type of fish farming is ideal for a ‘controlled fishing’ in large water bodies as it helps restrict fish movement.

Cage fish farming is now being done in Satiguda Reservoir by the Fishery Department and the Satiguda Reservoir fishery societies. Reportedly, 10 cages of 5 meter width, 5 meter long and 4 meter deep have been installed in the reservoir.

As per reports, around 2,000 fingerlings have been placed in each of the cage, which is expected to produce 1.5 quintals of fishes after 6 to 8 months. And in one harvest, these 10 cages reportedly produce around 1.5 ton fishes.

According to sources, the entire production costs of one crop is around Rs 7, 50, 000, and it gives farmers a straight double gain of around Rs 7,50, 000.

“Rs 7, 50, 000 is used for production, and in one crop we make a profit of Rs 7, 50, 000,” said Suraj Kumar Das, District Fishery official while adding that the profit is directly deposited in the joint account of the District Fishery Office and the co-operative society bank account.

Das further informed that individuals can also do this cage fish farming and they will get 50 percent subsidies from the fishery department. They will also be given training on how to harvest the fish, said Das.

“We had never thought of doing fish farming in a cage, but the department imparted us training. We also visited Salia, where people are doing cage fish farming. Later, we requested our district officer to help us set up these cages so that we can earn our livelihood,” said Susant Mandal, a farmer.

Meanwhile, the Fishery Department is planning to install 28 more cages in the Satiguda reservoir.