“No one can call us idlers now,” says Vimal Kishore Thakur as he proudly presentations off his pond the place he farms fish. In his village of 60 families, discussions generally revolve round fish — be it the brand new fast-breeding sorts such because the Amur from Bhubaneswar or the favourites like Rohu and Katla.
It was once on this village, Shahzadapur in Samastipur district, that the Nitish Kumar govt began a pilot challenge for fisheries again over a decade in the past. Now, it has become a nursery for potential fish farmers.
Thakur is one in all 4 farmers who to start with helped sparked the fishery frenzy within the upper-caste Bhumihar village, additionally breaking a caste barrier alongside the best way — the occupation is related to Extremely Backward Classes such because the Mallah or Nishad communities.
Thakur, in conjunction with Sunil Kumar, Kaushal Kishore Thakur and Chandrakant Thakur, dug up 19 ponds in part of an infinite stretch of low-lying flooded land in 2010. Under water for many of the 12 months, the 120-acre house would stay unirrigated, most effective on occasion yielding paddy.
The state govt began giving a 30 consistent with cent subsidy (now 50 consistent with cent) for digging one pond. More villagers dug up ponds and Shahzadapur become a pilot challenge of the state govt.
For a village as soon as caught with unproductive land and accused of getting “idlers”, the turnaround has been surprising. Residents now cumulatively earn a mean every year benefit of Rs 3 crore, stated Thakur.
At provide, 40 citizens personal 60 ponds unfold over the 100 acres. Ten different ponds are bobbing up. “We did not know this land could give us any return. The minimum profit per acre is Rs 2 lakh. The village farmers cumulatively earn a profit of about Rs 3 crore”, stated Thakur.
The Bihar Chief Minister has lengthy spoken about self-reliance in fish breeding. He visited the village in 2012 and spoke about the opportunity of fisheries within the state.
Kumar, some other one of the crucial 4 citizens who first took up the occupation, stated the actual spice up got here when some village citizens met Sushil Kumar Modi, the then Deputy Chief Minister and Fisheries Minister. Modi agreed to ship 4 Shahzadapur farmers in conjunction with 36 others to Andhra Pradesh for coaching in fisheries.
“The Bihar government had already sent 26 batches of farmers for training in Andhra Pradesh. We were the 27th batch,” stated Kumar.
He additionally recollects a jibe from a senior officer within the Bihar fisheries division who stated they have been merely going to idle about in posh accommodations. “This hurt us immensely. We returned to the village with a resolve to do something,” says Kumar as he presentations this correspondent round his huge pond, teeming with fish.
The farmers get two fish sorts a 12 months— Rohu and Katla. Local fish dealers who used to rely on Andhra Pradesh until a couple of years in the past now most effective purchase from the village.
The fish breeders of Shahzadapur at the moment are serving to get started fish farming different spaces as neatly — 85 acres in Jhanjharpur (Madhubani), 15 acres in Hasanpur, 12 acres in Sarairanjan, 15 acres in Vidyapati Nagar (Samastipur) and 15 acres in Siwan.