K M Dayashankar
KARIMNAGAR: With the state government educating the farmers to go in for regulated farming to diversify cultivation to reap riches since last few years, a farmer from Gopalraopeta village in Ramadugu mandal had shifted from the traditional cultivation of paddy to the aquaculture (fish farming) in his agricultural land.
Peechu Ramakrishna Reddy, the farmer, was having five acres of land and cultivated paddy all these years and could not earn much profits and incurred losses during the natural calamities and pest attacks. After hearing about the government instructing the farmers to take up regulated farming, he chose to take up aquaculture. Accordingly, he had dug two ponds in two acres of land each by spending 2.6 lakhs.
Before filling the ponds with water, he had treated each acre of the land with two quintals of natural manure (cow dung), 200 kgs of super phosphate, 100 kgs of urea, 50 kgs of potash. Later, after filling the tanks with water, he had released 5,000 fish seedlings of ‘katla, bocha and ravu’ varieties in each pond.
He had provided special food of rice bran, cooked ghatka (maize upma), groundnut powder mixture as feed daily 5 kgs for first 30 days to the fishlings. Later, he increased the feed quantity to 10 kgs from 30 to 60 kgs, 15 kgs per day from 60 to 90 days, 20 kgs from 90 to 120 days and 30 kgs per day day feed from seventh month onwards.
To protect fish from any infections, he used some insecticide in the ponds. After eight months, the fish was fully grown and weighing one kgs to three kgs depending on the variety. For rearing fish in five acres of land, he spent Rs 1.8 lakh and after selling the fish he secured Rs 4 lakhs. After removing expenditure, he earned a net profits of Rs 2.2 lakhs, which was higher when compared to paddy cultivation.
Agriculture Technology management agency (ATMA) project director N Priyadarshini called upon the farming community to go in for other alternate crops or taking up of dairy, poultry, sheep rearing, mulberry cultivation to earn more profits than the traditional paddy cultivation. She also assured to provide guidance and assistance for the farmers for diversification of cultivation.