Satellite Fish Nursery Technique- A New Tool for Livelihood Improvement in North and Middle Andaman

Sajib Kumar (34) resident of V.S. Pally Diglipur is a graduate and works as a conductor in Transport Department. He used to rear fresh water fishes i.e., Catla, Rohu, Mrigal (CRM) in his pond of size 60 X 40 m and sold it directly to the market. Earlier, he was earning Rs. 20,000 - 25,000 annually as an additional income. He was not happy the way his fish rearing business was progressing. There were problems in getting quality fish seeds from the mainland parties. The suppliers were giving him inferior and weed fishes in the name of CRM. To overcome this problem, he wanted to learn the technique of induced breeding and produce seeds with an objective to remove the mainland parties and provide quality seeds to other fishers.

Technical Support of CARI

In the year 2012, he was identified as an enterprising farmer by Department of Fisheries, Andman and Nicobar Administration. By joining hands with Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI), Fisheries Science Division (FSD), Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) and Out Reach Centre (ORC) Diglipur of North and Middle Andaman, an attempt was made to raise nursery of fresh water fish in his pond. Technical support on the concept of satellite nursery from FSD of CARI in association with KVK and ORC and logistics jointly by Department of Fisheries and CARI motivated him to start the venture.

A program on ‘Carp Breeding and Model for Satellite Nurseries in Andaman’ during 11-14th June, 2012 was conducted at ORC, Diglipur where he participated to learn the knowledge and skill involved in breeding. After gaining confidence, Sajib Kumar constructed five satellite nurseries of size 10 X 10 and 1.5 m deep. During the breeding season and building up of Satellite fish nursery the flood destroyed his fish nurseries along with fishes on account of heavy downpour on 17th and 28th June, 2012. At first instant, he wanted to back out due to heavy loss incurred but the constant moral support of scientists and staff of CARI made him confident again to construct the nursery. He devoted five hours of his time per day in breeding fishes during the breeding season, apart from this, he employed four full-time and ten part-time employees to assist him in carrying out the fish breeding, management and selling of the fishes on time.

Returns Made him Happy

Sajib Kumar started selling his first installment of fish seeds at the price ranging from Rs. 1.00 to 8.00 of various sizes. He earned an additional income of Rs. 70,000. On knowing about the availability of the quality fish seeds by the peer group from Kalipur to Keralapuram, 20-25 farmers placed their demand of fish seeds i.e., around 40,000 seeds which he sold at the rate of Rs. 5.00 per seed. Finally, an additional income of Rs. 2,00,000 was earned by him.
Within a span of 6 months, he earned Rs. 2,70,000 as additional income by adopting satellite nursery technique for production of fresh water fishes. Presently, six farmers are practicing the venture as livelihood option and many more youth have come forward to adopt the technology.

(Source: Central Agricultural Research Institute, Port Blair)