Fish fair falls short of target, minister vows sufficient yield
IMPHAL, 8th Nov: The state level fish fair cum fish crop competition organised in connection with Ningol Chakkouba by directorate of fisheries succeeded in attracting huge crowd of buyers. However, the fair fell short of its target of producing 90,000 kg of fish as farmers managed to put on display only 86,163 kg. Speaking at the fair venue at DM College of Arts ground, fisheries minister N Kayisii pointed out that farmers in the state are able to produce only 32,000 tonne of fish against the annual average requirement of 52,000 tonne. As such, 20,000 tonne of fish are imported from outside. Apart from loss of economy, the imported fishes are not fresh ones, he cautioned. Despite having vast area of fish farming, the state has been failing to meet its own requirement. Considering this situation, chief minister N Biren had taken up certain initiatives to increase fish production of the state. At the same time, the Fishery department is also taking up various initiatives to ensure self-sufficiency in fish production by 2022, he said while adding that his department is putting efforts to address problems faced by fish farmers. Kayisii pointed out that fish farming activities are mainly concentrated in the valley although hill areas too have potential for fish farming. Stating that fish farming can be a great tool for solving unemployment and poverty, he encouraged people of the state including those in hills to take up fish farming as a career. Fisheries director Bidyarani Ayekpam said that the department would start providing capacity building trainings to fish farmers in order to increase production and it has empaneled Central Agricultural University for this purpose. Among other initiatives, the department is also planning to introduce new and improved fish feeds and breeds to meet the demand. New and existing ponds will be developed as part of the RKVY blue revolution programme, she added. Once the fish feed mill is set up and started working, fish farmers of the state will get access to affordable and better fish feeds. The mill will have a production capacity of 450 to 500 kg of fish feeds per hour, she informed. The director further said that the department will ban fishing during May to June, which is breeding season for fishes, with the objective to increase fish production of the state. This year’s fish fair saw participation of fish farmers from all over the state. Altogether 90 fish stalls from different districts and fish farms including stalls of fishery department, ICAR, CAU and College of Fisheries, Tripura were opened.
The fish crop competition carried cash prizes of Rs 1 lakh, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively for the top three highest producers. Besides, it has an award for the highest producer of indigenous fishes like Pengba, Khabak and Ngaton. CAU vice-chancellor professor M Premjit and additional director (fisheries) A Khamsing also attended the programme as guests of honour. The directorate fixed prices of different fish species according to their sizes. Catla carp were sold at Rs 200 (below 2kg), Rs 250 (2-5kg) and Rs 300 (above 5kg) per kg; Rohu at Rs 200 (below 1kg) and Rs 260 (above 1kg); Grass Carp Rs 200 (below 2kg), Rs 260 (2-5kg) & Rs 300 (above 5kg); Pengba & Khabak at Rs 500 (below 300gm) & Rs 700 (above 300gm) and Ngaton at Rs 500 per kg.
Meanwhile, average rate in Imphal city and surrounding areas is Grass Carp (Rs 270), Rohu (Rs 280), Pengba (Rs 800) and Ngaton (Rs 600) per kg. Among the imported fishes, Sareng is sold at Rs 400, Ahilya at Rs 200 and Rohu Rs 160 per kg.