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    Educated fish farmer of Darrang in Assam coming forward to fulfill local fish demand in Bhogali market

    Published on January 12, 2021

    by Mayukh Goswami 

    Mangaldai : “Bhogali Bihu” is at our door step and every festival loving Assamese people wouldn’t disagree that the feast on the Uruka night will be incomplete without the delicious dishes made with local variety of fishes. The Bhogali feast would turn even better if the “Kolothy” of big size local “Chital” fish could be added in the list of dishes. The high demand of local variety of fishes could be fulfilled only due to the hard work of the local progressive fish grower like Nayanmani Saharia of Outala Besimari village under Kalaigaon Development Block of Darrang district .

    “ I am eagerly waiting for the Uruka bazar to supply variety of local fishes including around two quintals of Chital each not below five kilo in size . I am expecting a reasonable price of Rs 650/700 per kilo of Chital.” said Nayanmani while talking to this news paper . Nayanmani is one such graduate youth in the state who has already proved that with little technical knowledge , dedication and hard work one can easily earn more than a first class government officer can earn .

    He has successfully overcome the common belief that only government job is the assures means of livelihood. During the year 2009-10, Nayanmani was selected as a beneficiary for construction of a new pond of 0.40 hectare under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana (RKVY) implemented by Department of Fisheries, Government of Assam.

    This was the beginning of a new endeavour for Nayanmani. “ Subhash Dutta, Fishery Demonstrator of District Fishery Office helped me in availing the government scheme and had taught me all the technical aspects of scientific fish farming”. Being a visionary youth, Nayanmani started doing short term fish culture practice since year 2012-13. The package of practice for short term fish farming came up only recently from Assam Agriculture University. Encouraged after achieving good return from the new pond constructed under RKVY through Fisheries Department, he thought of expanding the fishery business. As such, he expanded his farm size from just 0.40 hectare to 2.40 hectare during the year 2015.

    He is now also involved in integrated pig cum fish culture, poultry farming, goat rearing on a commercial basis. He is now producing 6000 Kg of fishes per annum from his farm with an annual turnover of Rs. 10 lakhs. His annual turnover from pig and poultry is about Rs 2.0 Lakhs. “As days passed by, I have got more ideas in fish business and to deal in the fish market. There is more profit in short term fish culture than in long term fish culture practice”.

    Nayanmani said. Nayanmani with his self confidence and vision he transformed adverse period of COVID induced lock down into a golden opportunity, With the necessary support from District Fishery Office, he sold about 1500 Kg of fishes in one month at an average price of Rs 200.00 per kilogram. His turnover in one month during the lockdown was nearly Rs 3,00,000.00.

    An entrepreneur with equal social responsibilities , Nayanmani thinking about the livelihood standard of his fellow local fish farmers he took the lead to apply for a cluster-based project to the District Fishery Office, Darrang. With a 12-member group lead by NayanmaniSaharia as the Secretary, the group is now known as NabarupaMeen Palak Gut. This group is one of the Farmer Producer Group (FPG) under World Bank aided Assam Project for Agri-Business and Rural Transformation (APART) for the year 2020-21. “I am thankful to Jyoti Prabhat Duarah, Fisheries Development Officer for his kind cooperation and helping me to coordinate the Farmer Producer Group or FPG under APART.

    All the members of the my FPG are now determined to achieve fish production of 5000kg per hectare under APART”. Under the able guidance of Mr Duarah (FDO, Darrang), we have learnt many new things apart from fish culture; like community procurement process which involves inviting Request for Proposal for supply of inputs, preparing of Comparative statements and selection of bidders for supply of inputs, issuing of supply order by FPG etc.”. Similarly Fisheries Development Officer , Jyoti Prabhat Duarah has observed “A government aided project can be successful and sustainable only if the right beneficiary is selected, and the attitude of the farmer to adopt and replicate the technology. In this case, Nayanmani and his team has so far proved to be the right choice. “ Nayanmani has appealed to every educated unemployed youth to start fish scientific cultivation on a commercial basis for a sustainable livelihood instead of hankering after the government jobs with very limited earning opportunities .