Indian state aims to set up 15 RAS ponds by 2025
India’s northern state of Himachal Pradesh has planned to build 15 land-based fish ponds using recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology to boost local fish production over the next five years, The Times of India reported.
The plan is part of the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) scheme, announced in September by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The plan sets the goal of development of India's national fisheries sector between 2020-2021 and 2024-2025.
Five out of the total 15 ponds will be built in normal-water areas in Una, Mandi, and Surmaur districts and are expected to produce 40 metric tons (MT) per year each. The first two facilities will be constructed in the 2020-2021 financial year. The remaining 10 ponds will be set up in cold-water areas in Kinnaur, Sirmaur, Shimla, Mandi, Chamba, and Kullu districts from 2020-2021 to 2024-2025, with expected production of between 4 MT and 10 MT per year for each pond.
According to Himachal Pradesh’s fishery minister Virender Kanwar, the 15 fish ponds would be able to produce about 270 MT of fish per year once operational. Rainbow trout will be raised in cold-water ponds while pangasius, tilapia, and common carp will be farmed in the normal-water areas.
Farmers participating in the project will attend National Fisheries Development Board-hosted training sessions best practicess for cold-water aquaculture using RAS technology.
The state government will encourage the private sector to participate in the program by providing financial assistance for construction costs.
Applying the RAS technology in the state can help local fish-farmers raise income, as as the system allows them to work through summer, when water shortages often occur. The technology can also facilitate the growth of fish year-round, as farmed fish will not be affected by weather conditions, the newspaper reported.
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