Monthly meeting of Innovative Fish Farmers Association (IFFA), Punjab was held at College of Fisheries, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana participated by 25 members from different districts of the State. During the meeting, the farmers were taken on an exposure visit to local industry ‘Kalsi’ dealing in small and commercial scale processing machineries, including grinders and pelletizers for manufacturing pellet feeds. The said visit was arranged for motivating the farmers for taking up farm level manufacturing of pellet fish feeds for achieving higher feed efficiency and hence productivity for enhanced income thereof. The farmers were briefed about various types of machineries available for the said purpose and demonstration of different types of grinders and pelletizers was also made for an on spot performance assessment as per their requirements.
Farmer showed great enthusiasm during the demonstration session and took keen interest in understanding the working of farm level machinery. An interactive session was also held after demonstration for elaborative discussion regarding feed and feeding management for higher fish productivity. According to technical Co-ordinator of the IFFA, Dr. Vaneet Inder Kaur, supplementary fish feed is one of the major input in the fish culture operation and accounts for 60-70 % of the total expenditure. For getting higher benefits from fish farming, a good quality feed should be provided to fish in a compact form like pellets for maximum consumption and minimum wastage. Most of the farmers are following dough feeding practice, in which feed is not fully utilized by the fish and hence leach to the pond bottom and deteriorate the water quality. This need to be taken care of and provision of pelleted feed is one of the method to reduce feed wastage. Further, the farmers were also advised to follow proper feeding management practices in terms of feed formulation, feeding rate and feeding time to reap maximum benefits without any additional nutrient input.
The president of IFFA, Mr. Ranjodh Singh, village Nanokey, district Patiala and Vice President Mr. Jasvir Singh Aujla, village Karodian, district Ludhiana appreciated the efforts of College of Fisheries, GADVASU for arranging these kinds of exposure visits to industries and farms for the benefits of the farmers. They also requested the farmers to come forward and participate in these types of meetings/interactions for getting their problems addressed.
Dr. Meera D. Ansal, Head, Department of Aquaculture, said that such type of scientific visits help farmers to get acquainted with the new technologies, share their experiences and problems, besides recording their feedback to the scientists for generating need based technologies in a participatory mode. According to Dr. Kulbir Singh Sandhu, Dean, College of Fisheries emphasized that it is very important to sensitize the farmers with recent technologies and innovations to help them reduce input cost through efficient nutrient recycling and get more production per unit area in a more sustainable manner. For this purpose, the technological backup for the farming community is needed and university is playing an instrumental role in this direction, he added.