Rahman, a resident of Seroil area in Rajshahi city, had started fish farming in only a three-bigha pond after purchasing 600 grams of spawns from a nearby seed multiplication farm in 2010.
Since then, he has, so far, extended his fish farming to 15 ponds after availing the scopes of spawns and fingerlings of the seed multiplication farm.
Makhan Hossain, another fish farmer of Seroil area, along with his father Alauddin Hossain has been cultivating fish in 12 ponds after taking three kilograms of spawn from the farm every season since 2010 successfully.
He said carp species like rui, katla, mrigel, silver carp and grass carp are the most popular. A carp fish generally weighing 2.5 kilogram (kg) to 5.5 kg is sold at TK 300 to TK 600 per kg.
Makhan added that they are happy over the fish farming as it has enhanced his social dignity and level of confidence.
The seed multiplication farm has been playing a vital role towards boosting fish production through providing quality spawns among farmers in the region.
After getting healthy spawn many farmers like Rahman and Makhan have attained success in fish production field side by side with making the region self-reliant in fish production, said Dr Jinnat Ara Rokeya Chowdhury, Manager of the farm.
Established on 3.29 hectares of land at Kadirganj area in the heart of the Rajshahi city in 1961-62, the state-owned farm has now become an icon of delivering quality spawn, fry and fingerling among the farmers at nominal rate.
A medium size hatchery had been launched in the ‘Rajshahi Fish Seed Multiplication Farm’ in 1981-82 and it had begun its journey as well as artificial breeding with initial production of five kilograms of spawns in 1989.
But, at present, the farm has been producing 350 kilograms of spawns of 11 fish species including all major carp and supplying those to the farmers side by side with various other activities every season.
It has also been supplying healthy brood fishes to the government and non-government hatcheries infusing dynamism in the freshwater fish production sector, added Dr Rokeya Chowdhury.
“We always inspire and motivate the farmers for farming fish in a scientific method,” she mentioned.
As a whole, the farm is intended to ensure healthy spawn and fry among the interested farmers together with meeting up the protein and nutrition demands.
Meanwhile, fish production in both closed and open water-bodies has been enhanced by more than 1.78 lakh tonnes in all eight districts of the Rajshahi division in the last four and a half years benefitting people of the region in many ways.
Fish farming is making many people financially solvent along with boosting their social dignity and contributing to meeting the demand for animal protein of the region as well as other parts of the country.
In order to boost fish production in the country’s internal water-bodies, stock of around 1.04 lakh metric tonnes of fish fingerlings have been arranged in different water-bodies at a cost of around TK 15.62 crore benefiting 6.84 lakh fish farmers.
The region has also attained significant success in fish spawn and fish fingerling production which are also surplus than the existing demand.
In the last 2014-15 financial year, fish production was around 3.98 lakh tonnes whereas the production stood at 4.76 lakh tonnes in 2018-19 fiscal, said Tofaz Uddin Ahmed, Divisional Deputy Director of the Department of Fisheries (DoF).
He said the region has also attained the success of 71,443 tonnes of surplus fish production in comparison to the existing demands. The farmers have harvested 4.76 lakh tonnes of fish from 4.03 lakh hectares of different categories of water-bodies in last fiscal against the demand of 4.04 lakh tonnes of around 1.92 crore people in the division.
Ahmed mentioned that the success has been attained due to the adoption of multidimensional development and extension programs including promotion of modern technologies in both farming and seed production.
There are around 1.60 lakh fish farmers, 1.40 lakh fishermen and 6,712 fingerling traders in the division at present.