Fish is the likable food in the coastal states of India. In view of the uplifting the living standards of the tribes, the ICAR- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR- CMFRI) extended technical support in cage farming to around 35 tribal families in T V Puram panchayat in Vaikom, Kottayam on 20th March 2018.
Cage fish farming is a less expensive but more productive fish farming model. It has proved 70 times more productive than the normal methods of the fish farming practices. Conventional pond culture of marine fishes produces an average 0.5 kg/m3 (5000 kg/ha) whereas cage farming offers a production of 35 kg/m3 .
The initiative was part of CMFRI’s project for popularizing the less expensive fish farming method among the tribal colonies across the coastal states under the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
ICAR-CMFRI provided skill development programme to the tribes equipping them to set up small-scale cage fish farming units in brackishwater ecosystem. The training included guidance on budgeting, site selection for the farming, suitable fish species identification, cage fabrication, feed management, farming procedures, harvesting and fish trade along with practical and hands-on trainings. The tribes were also provided opportunity to visit the cage fish farming sites in Nettoor being led by various farmer groups under the guidance of CMFRI and to clear their doubts on the farming methods.
The technical support is aimed at socio-economic empowerment of tribal people taking up cage fish farming as an alternate livelihood option. In accordance with the progress of the farming, more cages, fish lingers, feeds and other services will be provided to the tribal people in the area.
The farming will be carried out under the guidance of a CMFRI team from the beginning to the end. The institute will help the tribes to become entrepreneurs through small-scale cage farming units under various groups.
The training programme, which was conducted at the HDPI Colony in TV Puram panchayat in Vaikom, was inaugurated by Sebastian Antony, Panchayat President.