JAMMU, OCTOBER 10, 2020: Principal Secretary to Fisheries, Animal-Sheep Husbandry, Agriculture, Horticulture and Cooperative, Navin Choudhary has asked the Fisheries department to promote Biofloc technology for boosting fish farming in potential areas of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory.

The Principal Secretary also instructed to depute the staff of all the districts for undergoing training at the private highly successful Biofloc unit at Bajalta on rotation basis.

In view of the multiple benefits of Biofloc Technology System over conventional pond Fish culture system and to demonstrate this high yielding Intensive Fish Farming to Farmers, the biofloc technology is being introduced in J&K. The department plans to promote the novel technology among the Farming community and unemployed youth for adoption of the same as an income generating Fish Farming unit.

Navin Choudhary recently visited to the Hunters Ranch at Meluri Jagir, Bajalta for inspection of the Biofloc unit established in private Sector by Colonel Sunil Singh Sambyal.

The Biofloc Technology (BFT) system has gained vital importance as an approach in aquaculture as this technology is Eco-Friendly, land and water use efficient etc. The consumption of Biofloc by Fish has been reported to have numerous benefits such as improvement of growth rate, decrease of FCR and associated feed cost etc. This technology has already been adopted in many states and the BFT units are reportedly running successfully.

The Principal Secretary appreciated the efforts of the Department and issued on spot Instruction to the Director Fisheries, to establish such units in the other feasible areas of the Union Territory of J & K. The Principal Secretary also instructed to depute the staff of all the districts for undergoing training at this Biofloc unit on rotation basis.

Government of India (GOI) has announced an economic stimulus package –Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self Reliant India) for Fisheries Sector to bring “Blue Revolution” through sustainable and responsible Development of Fisheries under the nomenclature Pardhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY). The main objectives of the PMMSY is to create direct employment opportunities, double the income of Fish Farmers besides addressing critical gaps in Fisheries Sector and to increase Fish production through sustainable and responsible Fishing practices. The Scheme will focus on creating critical modernization and strengthening of value chain & improve availability of certified quality Fish seed/ feed. Under the said scheme the unit cost for establishing one unit of Biofloc consisting of 7 tanks of 4mtrs dia and 1.5 mtrs ht is 7.50 Lakh.

The Department has facilitated establishment of 1073 Carp rearing units and 534 Trout Rearing units in private sector, while 19 Carp Fish Farms and 51 Trout Farms/ Rearing Units, 16 Trout Hatcheries, 05 Carp Hatcheries, 02 Aquaria, Recreational centers, Marketing outlets, Trout Beats etc have been established under Govt. Sector in the various Districts of the Union Territory. Besides a number of Departmental units are under execution at different stages. It is worth to mention here, that about 17,396 professional Fishermen of the Union Territory derive their livelihood through legalized Fishing in natural water resources.

Besides adaptation latest Fish Farming technology by Colonel Sunil Singh Sambyal, one namely Dr. Uttam Singh Sambyal also developed organic horticulture which involves growing of fruits, vegetables, flowers in a natural way by following essential principals of organic agriculture in soil building, pest management and heirloom variety preservation. Organic Farming is the growing of crops without use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers and biomass recycling.

The Principal Secretary while appreciating the efforts of the Department and also the Colonel Sunil Singh Sambyal and Dr. Uttam Singh Sambyal stressed that future for the markets for organic food is definitely bright and it is rapidly growing in some developing countries. He further added that with consumer awareness of food safety, health and environmental issues , the organic food sector has become an attractive opportunity for the farmers to fetch more income and markets would grow with the support of such farmers, the Government and such entrepreneurs coming together to work with farmers.

In addition to Biofloc Aquaculture technology and organic Farming, other recreational facilities like Adventure sports, Children Park, Desi Rasoi, Hunters Pot- Roast as well as Cafeteria has also been made available for visitors/ General public and Tourists.

The Principal Secretary was accompanied by Mohammad Amin Mir, Director Fisheries J & K and other officers of the Department.