On an average he earns Rs 1.75 lakh from it by incurring an annual expenditure of Rs 25,000 only. The net profit of Rs 1.5 lakh from 2 acres of land is about 50 percent more than what the farmers who cultivate wheat and paddy crops get. Realising that traditional farm practices of wheat-paddy rotation are no more profitable after calculating the cost inputs, Gurbachan Singh, a small farmer of Jafarwala village in the district having a land holding of just 4 acres, started fish farming on 2 acres by developing it into a pond a few years back.
“I heard a radio programme on fish farming about 10 years ago and made up my mind to leave the traditional farming practices and go for something innovative. I contacted the district Fishery Department in Moga city. The fishery officials provided me five-day training on fish farming,” Gurbachan Singh further added.
Encouraged by the earning from his 2-acre fish pond, he took 2.5 acres at nearby Kot Sadar Khan village on lease and also developed it into a pond for fish farming. He earns an income of more than Rs 2 lakh from it. Side by side, he also took up piggery and dairy farming. He started using dung of cattle and pig excreta as feed for the fish thereby lowering his input cost in fish farming. With the earning from fish farming, he has also bought a Combine harvester and fodder machines. He also rents out Combine harvester to the nearby farmers during the harvesting season. Now, he is also planning to produce fish seed and sell them to young farmers who desire to adopt fish farming to diversify their agro-practices.
Gurbachan Singh says he wants to pass his experiences in fish farming to younger generation of farmers. “School and college students often visit my farm. It gives me pleasure to pass on my knowledge to them,” he said. He urges the young farmers to cultivate a passion for farming practices. “Once there is a passion to grow something the rest will automatically follow,” he says while adding that the government needs to support the youth and frame policies to increase the subsidies for allied farming practices. His hard work and innovative skills have also been acknowledged by his village people. He was elected sarpanch of the village in the last elections.