Himachal Pradesh likely to touch record trout fish production
· target set for 800 metric tonnes trout fish production in year 2020-21
The perennial rivers of Himachal Pradesh provide immense opportunities for trout production and supplementing incomes of the fishermen. The state government is making all out efforts to promote fishery sector in a big way for which various schemes are being implemented.
Himachal Pradesh has emerged as major trout fish producing states in the country and trout fish production is likely to touch record 685 metric tonnes in the state during current financial year. The State Government has decided to open trout fish outlets at Shimla, Chamba and Kangra under CSS-Blue Revolution and these would be made functional shortly.
Trout Fishery in Himachal Pradesh has been introduced in 600 kms riverine length at higher altitude of cold water streams in snow-fed rivers of Beas, Sutlej and Raavi, which are most conducive for trout farming in the hill state. Total 568.443 metric tonnes trout fish production valuing Rs 2558 lakh was recorded in the state during the year 2018-19 in seven trout fish production district of Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kangra and Sirmaur.
"The state has set up a target of 800 metric tonnes trout fish production in barren cold water during the year 2020-21 while 950 Metric tonnes trout fish production target has been fixed for the year 2021-22", said Fisheries Minister Virender Kanwar.
The department has chalked out ambitious marketing strategy for sales of trout fish to develop 940 trout units as revenue-earning centers to boost economy activities in trout fish sector .The department will establish trout cluster during current financial year for marketing of trout fish through mobile fish vans in the state. Presently, around 50 percent of trout produced is being sold outside the state mainly in five star hotels in metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai etc .
The State Government has also decided to shift focus on marketing to metropolitan cities by enhancing quality and quantity both to ensure remunerative prices to around 500 trout farming families in the state. The department of Fisheries is also developing online sale portal for fish in collaboration with ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Kochi.
As many as eight trout farms have been set up at Patlikuhal, Hamni, in district Kullu, Holi Thaila and Bhandal in district Chamba, Barot in district Mandi, Sangla in distrcit Kinnaur and Dhamwari in district Shimla to boost trout fish production. The government has decided to set up 29 trout hatcheries in private sector in trout farming seven districts viz. Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kangra and Sirmaur under CSS-BR and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna in the coming years. Each hatchery will have a trout ova production capacity of 2.00 lakh annually.
The state government is also planning to set up fish seed certification and accreditation agency for providing quality seeds and feeds to the trout fish farmers. In order to modernize technology and production processes throughout the trout value chain, ready to eat smoked trout canning centre is being set up at trout farm Patlikuhal in Kullu district in association with ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology CIFT, Kochi.
To promote Trout fish farming in the private sector in the state, financial assistance is being given under various centrally sponsored and state schemes for construction of trout raceways/units, hatcheries, feed mills, retail outlets etc. as per guidelines. The department is also providing Trout insurance to trout growers under state scheme.
Encouraging Fish Produce Organizations (FPO) is among the priorities of the government, which envisages development of post-harvest infrastructure for fish products and makes profitable markets to available them.