Indian aqua farmers asked to form societies
OFFICIALS of India’s Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) have appealed to small and marginal farmers to form societies and enrol with the authority, The Hindu reported last month.
MPEDA and Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA), a research wing of the organisation, conducted a five-day training programme for aqua farmers on ‘Eco Sustainable and Development Scopes in Aquaculture’.
Assistant director Archiman Lahiri said many small and medium farmers were taking up fish, prawn, and crab culture in traditional methods.
‘But middlemen are deceiving the farmers by supplying seed at a higher price and giving them poor quality seed, leading to less production. Many farmers are in the grip of middlemen in villages,’ said Lahiri.
MPEDA deputy director (Aquaculture) S. Kandan advised the farmers to follow scientific methods for sustainable aquaculture and for maintaining the ecosystem. He taught them better practices during the field trip.
‘If farmers raise shrimp by maintaining sufficient water levels, oxygen in tanks, sufficient seed in a tank by supplying quality seed, they can prevent viruses and achieve good production,’ he said.
‘Some agents are making aqua farmers do captive culture by investing in ponds. The middlemen will keep the farmers in the dark on the market price, sell the produce to export companies at a good price, and give some amount to the farmer,’ Kandan said, and asked the small farmers to avail themselves of the schemes introduced by the government by forming societies.