By Our Special Correspondent
MAWPUN: The State Fisheries Research and Training Institute, complete with low cost fibre reinforced plastic hatchery was launched at Mawpun, near Umroi on Thursday. Inaugurating the building and hatchery, State PWD Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar lauded the Fisheries Department for what he termed as a “quality initiative” in the State.
The PWD Minister officiated as Chief Guest in place of Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma who was pre-occupied. Stating that the Fisheries Research and Training Institute would enable farmers to be trained closer home instead of being sent outside the State, Dhar said, “I recently sent 20 farmers from my constituency to Mumbai for training. Now that such a quality training institute is established within the State farmers should work hard and take advantage of the benefits offered by Government.”
Lauding the Integrated Basin Development and Livelihoods Project (IBDLP) of the State Government, Dhar said this is an initiative which brings hope to farmers and the Aquaculture Mission which is one of the verticals of the IBDLP is most visible as there are several thousand fish ponds that have already come up in different parts of the State.
He exhorted the farmers to become self reliant and thanked the CM for initiating this livelihoods project.
Chief Secretary WMS Pariat who was also present in the occasion said the Aquaculture Mission has shown much progress within a short time.
Pariat said he had visited the Research Centre 15 years ago when nothing much was happening. “Now things have completely changed and I feel encouraged to see this infrastructure that has come up. Farmers should take full advantage of this training Centre,” Pariat added. Earlier Principal Secretary, Fisheries Department, Mr KN Kumar explained that the Fish Farm at Mawpun wis one of the oldest in the State having been started in 1969 by the Government of Assam.
The sprawling 13 acre Fisheries Research and Training Centre would have 19 fish ponds of which 14 are nurseries, 2 rearing ponds and 2 stocking ponds.
Stating that the Research and Training Centre at Mawpun would become the hub for human capacity development, Kumar said earlier the fish farmers had to be sent for training to other states like the Central Institute for Freshwater Aquaculture at Bhubaneshwar, Odisha and Assam.
“We were sending at least 500 farmers for training every year. Now we can start training them at the Institute from May 6 this year,” Kumar informed.
The low cost fibre reinforced plastic hatchery would be generating one million fingerling for one cycle. Meghalaya had been importing fingerlings from Silchar and Kokrajhar in Assam.
Of these 60-70 % die in transit thereby causing great loss to fish farmers. The hatchery would now be able to provide fingerlings to all fish farmers.
Several fish farmers congregated at the Research Centre and made enquiries about the scheme.
They registered themselves and said they looked forward to benefit from the Centre.
A hand book for farmers which is a training kit in itself was given out on the occasion. PWD Minister S Dhar also presented a memento and Rs 10,000 as honorarium to L Kharkongor, Junior Engineer attached to the Fisheries Department for completing the work of building the Research Centre and other infrastructure in record time.