Fish farming sees significant increase in Nangarhar
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Pisciculture has witnessed considerable growth in eastern Nangarhar province, with more than 150 fish farms having been set up, creating employment opportunities for thousands of people, an official said.
Syed Nader Akbari, in charge of the fish-breeding section at the Department of Agriculture, said the farms had been established in Behsud, Kama, Dara-i-Noor, Khewa and Goshta districts of the province.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, the official said carp fish breeding produced good results in hot areas while trout fish production was high in cold regions.
About acquisition of fish seeds, the expert said: “We get mature fish sperm, a process that is conducted on farms under special circumstances. Once collected, the sperm is hatched.
“When hatched, the spawn is released into special ponds, where seeds are produced. Fish seeds come out of the eggs fertilised while the ones that are not hatched are discarded,” he explained.
A 6.5 acre fishery in the Daronta district of Nangarhar has stopped functioning because of the rising water level, according to the official, who said the central government had been approached for reviving it.
He said there were two huge fish farms in Behsud and Khewa districts. But the absence of fish disease diagnostic laboratories is a big problem for fish farmers, who want the issue to be resolved on priority.
Dozens of people were directly working on fish farms, which offered indirect job opportunities to thousands of, Akbari claimed, saying each farm had more than five workers.
“But when the fish grow and are supplied to the market, thousands of people get work opportunities. Some sell them raw, some gut them while others cook them,” the official explained.
On the other hand, farmers said they could set up seed farms, if supported by authorities concerned. Seed farms, the believed, would obviate the need for imports from Pakistan or elsewhere.
One big fish farm has been established on 7.5 acres of land in the Pir Kala area of Behsud district. The area has 15 ponds, each having nearly 1,000 fish. The seeds were imported from Pakistan and reared on the farm, worker Sher Afzal said.
“The seeds, which are brought from Pakistan in oxidised bags, are released into ponds where they are kept for six months. Later, they are kept in larger ponds for another six months before being supplied to the market,” he added.
With support from the government and donors, they could abundantly supply fish to Nangarhar and other provinces. Afzal said they planned setting up a seed farm. Every season, he said, they earned 300,000 Pakistani rupees.
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