Indian state launches biofloc tech to raise fish production

The state government of Odisha, in India, has introduced a new initiative to boost intensive aquaculture through applying biofloc farming technology, Outlook India reported 24 August, citing a report from the Press Trust of India.

The purpose of the scheme is to provide employment for entrepreneurs, unemployed young people, and interested fish farmers who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Odisha’s Fisheries and Animal Resources Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo said.

Applying the biofloc technology, farmers can raise fish in artificial tanks with high densities in an area of between 150 to 200 square meters connected with piped water supply.

The system can be used to produce freshwater fish species such as tilapia, pangasius, common carp, and others.

Organic waste in the tanks, such as feed waste, will be treated to convert to fish feed by using helpful bacteria and carbon source such as molasses.

The biofloc technology can produce 2,000 kilograms of fish from four small tanks on an area of up to 150 square meters while the traditional pond farming system needs an area of 4,000 square meters to produce a similar output in six months, according to the minister.

He added that the biofloc-based tanks can be installed on terraces of buildings and backyard to supply live or fresh fish to customers nearby.

A biofloc unit of two tanks will cost INR 150,000 (USD 2,028, EUR 1,716), which will increase to INR 400,000 (USD 5,410, EUR 4,575) for a unit of six tanks.

The local government will provide a subsidy of 40 percent to fish farmers to build the system.

The minister said he hopes the new technology will help boost fish production in the state and encourage local people to participate in farming activities in the state. He said the state government will work to provide necessary technical support for the biofloc-based farmers.

Photo courtesy of sofirinaja/Shutterstock

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