Odisha Youths Take Up Freshwater Pearl Farming
Balasore: Have you ever thought of finding pearls in ponds instead of sea? It sounds surprising but Arun Kumar and Jagannath Parik of Gunapur village in Balasore district have made it possible with their hard work and by adopting new techniques of aquaculture.
After the duo came to know about the new technology, they brought mussels worth Rs 45,000 from Gujarat and started pearl farming in a pond in their village.
A piece of pearl is sold at Rs 500 – Rs 600 in market and hence, Arun and Jagannath are hopeful of earning good profit in the future.
“We can produce pearls from the mussels which can be reared in freshwater. One can earn around Rs 1 lakh in a year with an investment of Rs 20,000-25,000. Besides, fish farming can also be practiced in the pond,” said Arun.
“It’s been three months now, we have released around 15,000 mussels in the pond. The number of deaths of the mussels are very less. We are expecting good returns from the business,” said Jagannath.
Moreover, Arun and Jagannath have also engaged a technicians who examine the mussels inside the pond once in three days.
“Once in every three days, we go inside the pond to check the dead and alive mussels and examine whether pearls are developing inside the healthy mussels or not. We also inspect the temperature and other environmental conditions of the pond,” said the technician, Subrat Manik.
On the other hand, people have been visiting the farming site of the duo to see how pearls are being harvested from freshwater.
“We had heard that pearls are found only in sea but we were surprised to know that pearls can also be cultivated in freshwater. I also want to take up the farming in future,” said a local, Rameswar Jena.
The Process of Pearl Farming
Coming to the process of farming, a nucleus is inserted with the help of a piece of donor mantle tissue into the mussels(at least a three-year-old) through surgical procedure.
Then, they are given oxygen and medicines before being placed in nets and kept inside 2.5 feet water in drums which are placed inside a pond.
The drums are installed inside a pond having at least six feet water and a temperature of around 35 degree Celsius.