Vision * "A self reliant Dzongkhag co-existing in peace and harmony with enhanced socio-economic standards, rich natural resources and cultural heritage" * Mission * “To enhance rural livelihood with good local governance in line with culture and environment” * དམིགས་དོན་གཅོད་པ། * ཕན་བདེ་བརྟན་རྒྱས་ལྡན་པའི་ས་གནས་གཞུང་གིས་ལམ་སྲོལ་དང་རང་བཞིན་རྒྱུ་ཁུངས་གཉིས་དང་བསྟུན་གྲོང་གསེབ་འཚོ་བའི་ཐུན་རྐྱེན་གོང་འཕེལ་གཏང་ནི། * འཆར་སྣང་བསམ་གྲུབ་ལྗོངས་མཁར། * རྒྱུན་བརྟན་རང་འདྲོངས་ཅན་དང་ཞི་བདེ་མཐུན་བསྒྲིག་མཉམ་དུ་གནས་ཏེ་མི་སྡེ་དཔལ་འབྱོར་གྱི་གནས་ཚད་ཡར་འཕར་སོང་བའི་རང་བཞིན་ཐོན་སྐྱེད་ཀྱི་འབྱོར་པ་དང་ལམ་སྲོལ་རྒྱུད་བཟང་ལྡན་པའི་ལྗོངས་སུ་བསྒྲགས་ནི།

Small Scale Aquaculture for Rural Livelihood Development in the Dzongkhag

 

 Our country's import of fish in 2012 at 4853 Metric tons (wet weight equivalent) translates to an outflow especially the INR, worth at least Nu. 3, 50 million. Looking at the import it has a huge potential to contribute to the import substitutions. (NCA, 2014). 

 At the moment all the fish farming are at the backyard and focus only on small cash income for the rural farmers.it also indicates that consumption pattern for the fish is significantly high and it will remain same for years to come.

 

 The overall target for Aquaculture program during the 11th Five Year Plan in the country for wet fish has increased from the initial 100 MT to 500 MT. With the new Government policy to make fishes self-sufficient in the country the overall target has again changed to the 750 MT which is increased by 650 %. This indicates that the potential Dzongkag now has the bigger challenging and responsibility ahead to meet this target. Therefore, the sector have huge mandate and collectively produce 750 MT of fish per annum by the year 2018 for the country.

 

 The project focuses in two Geogs, Pemathang and Phuntshothang. The fish will be sold through various networks of meat vendors to the consumers of   six eastern Dzongkhag. Presently, Dzongkhag have 165 ponds fully functional with average ponds size of 570 sq meters. Depending on the areas and culture of the community the farming system is segregated into integrated and non-integrated (pig) aquaculture. At the moment farmers reared six species of fishes in the farms. The proportion of fish species per pond is Common carp 20% (Cyriprinus Carpio), Grass Carp 25% (Ctenopharyngodon Idella), Sliver carp 20% ( Hypophthabmichthys Molitrix), Rohu 15% (Labeorohita), Mrigal) 12%  ( Cirrhinus Mrigalla), Catla 8 % ( Catlay) .

 

 However, an economics of scale and the supply of fish in a given time period un-interruptedly for whole year round remain bigger challenges ahead. The marketing facilities and requirements like storage, transport, ice and other equipment are essential to deliver hygienic fish products with high standard quality to the end consumers. For the long term sustainability of the groups the bigger challenge remains to see cost benefit analysis from the production till the end consumer in order to get clearer picture of selling price and affordability aspects. A foremost issue of as of now is to caliber the marketing networks with sound strategies in place. It also create window of an opportunities for the un-employed youth in providing self-employment in the Geog. For the rural farmers availing cash income is very difficult therefore it is the main source of income in the time of needs.

 The challenges of meeting continuous flow of water to the ponds for the steady growth of the fish is utmost important for the fish farming. The production depends on the seasonal monsoon rain and the excess water outflow of paddy cultivation farms. At time it is difficult to access water leading to mortality of the fingerling in the ponds. The risk factor involves when various trapping of out flow of water from the paddy field are used because famers spray pesticides or weedicide sometime which is readily available across the Indian broader. The contamination of the ponds may lead to high mortality of the fingerling and also poses risk to human health due to residual effect of the pesticides. The reliable water source and distance from the farming community makes more complicated in term of resources. Otherwise, as usual people had to depend on the monsoon as main source of the water for the farming. 

 The other minor problems are social issues like hindrance by religious body, vigorous promotion of religion, labor shortages and predator problem. The focus training on the management aspect and book keeping need to address genuinely. In term of the research, nothing much has been done or published in the fisher sector. Developing few research protocol or case study will be beneficial for understanding the issues regarding the fish venture in our country. Till date no genuine study was carried out to foster work done and substantiate to the policy makers for the support services. Through various findings and study it is important to mover further one steep more in the fishery development sector in the areas.

 This fiscal year the sector in collaboration with National Centre for Aquaculture (NCA) and Regional Centre for Aquaculture (RCA), another additional 19 ponds were newly constructed in Lanchenphu and Phuntshothang Geog. In total it measured 13,283 sq meters, therefore the sector expects to get significantly more production in a year ahead. 

 With increasing in the production of the fish in the region the product diversification for the surplus fishes can be carried out e. g like drying, canning, salting and Dosam also. Dry fish is also main components in the Bhutanese diet and has huge demand in the markets. So, more than constraints, there are more opportunities for the Bhutanese entrepreneurs and the youth for the employment generation in the fish sector.

 

 

Contributed by:
SJ Gonor

   
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