With AsiaвЂ™s largest fisheries farm in South KashmirвЂ™s Anantnag district emerging because the best producer of rainbow trout in the world, private farms are taking to trout rearing and finding it commercially viable
The weekend getaway of Kokernag, 22km from Anantnag, is home to AsiaвЂ™s largest fisheries farm that is emerging due to the fact producer that is best of rainbow trout in the field.
Spread over 20 hectares, the farm was put up 36 years ago with support from the European Economic Committee. It started with a hatchery that is single has now been upgraded to 3 hatcheries that supply millions of eyed ova and seeds to beneficiaries, including private fish farmers.
Trout farming into the sector that is private introduced because of the government during 2009 and has been a success. At the moment, there are many more than 540 private farms rearing trout and earning their livelihood in Kokernag.
Simply the right conditions
The main trout farming project officer at Kokernag, Mohammad Muzaffar Bazaz, says Kashmir has two types of fisheries, warm and water that is cold. The temperature shouldnвЂ™t exceed 20 degrees CelsiusвЂњFor trout culture. Brown trouts are in abundance when you look at the reaches that are upperвЂќ he says.
Being the very first fisheries postgraduate (MFSc) of Kashmir, Bazaz has a liking that is special this farm and spends his entire trip to the hatcheries, raceways and streams to keep a wrist watch in the trouts.
вЂњWe have our very own brooders and acquire eggs and milt that is white them. We rainbow that is rear for commercial purposes only as it is carried out in the remainder world,вЂќ he says, showing the brooders swimming into the clear water of this gushing stream.
Explaining the hatching process, he says, the eggs from females and milt that is white male brooders are harvested by stripping their bellies. вЂњThe eggs are fertilised in hatcheries by keeping them in trays that are put under running water. It typically takes a to hatch these eggs into fry, which are put on high protein feed month. The fish are shifted from hatcheries to outside as well as the recipe of feed is changed till it attains table size weight suitable for commercial farming,вЂќ Bazaz says.
A good amount of potential
Kashmir leads trout production in India with over 500 tonnes on a yearly basis. вЂњThis is entirely consumed locally generally there is potential and more private players are moving towards rearing trout,вЂќ he says.
Just last year, the farm earned Rs 1.83 crore away from which it sold seed for Rs 40 lakh to farmers that are private. вЂњThe breeding coincides with winter and as a result of heavy silting and changing water parameters, the farm produces 40 lakh green ova out which it gets 15 lakh fry,вЂќ he says.
вЂњi’ve been rearing trout in my farm for two years. When the fish attain table size, I have customers here at my farm. The trout is commercially viable,вЂќ says Ajaz Ahmad, the master of a farm that is private South Kashmir.
Hard work and expertise
Kashmir can also be referred to as anglersвЂ™ paradise which is why tourists, particularly foreigners, head when it comes to high-altitude water bodies. вЂњUsually, brown trout is situated in high-altitude lakes and streams because it feeds on animal prey species unlike rainbow trout. ItвЂ™s needs a special expertise to catch trout,вЂќ says Manzoor Bhat, an angler from Tangmarg.
Syed Manzoor, a senior supervisor at the Kokernag farm, says the breeding season is from October to February when seed is collected through the fish.
вЂњWe know which fish is ready for stripping. To help keep the hatcheries neat and harvesting the eggs is a hectic process that needs expertise which is why we have trained staff. We need to regularly feed the fry after which the fish at different stages besides washing the raceways. Everything is done manually. We even produce the feed here,вЂќ he says.
The way the journey began
In Kashmir, the trout that is first, comprising 10,000 eggs, originated in the uk in 1899. The batch perished that is entire. The batch that is second from Scotland a year later, out of which 1,000 fry were utilized in Panzagam Dachigam (Harwan) together with rest reared when you look at the premises of an exclusive carpet factory owner in Baghi, Dilawar Khan, in the midst of the city.