Aquaculture Project (Fish Farming)
Complete Guide for Starting & Operating a Business.
Fish farming in India is a popular form of agriculture. A well-maintained fish pond can give a handsome profit. Learn how to set up fish rearing ponds and start a fish business. Fish farming in India is a profitable business. One can start a stand-alone fish farm or integrate it with other farming to minimize the risk and maximize the profit.
Fish farming is also called ‘pisciculture’ and is the practice of commercial fish rearing in enclosed tanks. In India, it is an important sector contributing to agricultural exports and food security in a major way. Since the demand for fish as food is increasing it has resulted in overfishing worldwide causing a depletion in the population. This has led to the establishment of fish farms or aquaculture wherein fish has grown artificially in man-made ponds or tanks. Aquaculture has now become so popular that more than 50% of the total fish population in the world came from aquaculture alone in 2016. Globally, 62% of the total fish supply comes from China.
Advantages of Fish Farming in India
- At least 60% of Indians consume fish as a part of their regular meals.
- The demand for fish is high in the market, its price is also very high ensuring good income.
- The subtropical and tropical climate of India is ideal for growth and production of fish.
- Since there are abundant water sources in India like lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, etc. it is not very difficult to procure fish and grow them on the farm.
- Growing fish in a farm is not a laborious process. Additionally, it can be integrated with other types of farming like poultry, vegetables, animals, etc. Integrated aquaculture is very popular among farmers.
- Since the fish farming business is not as laborious as other types of farming, it is easy to handle along with regular work. It can be also easily managed by other family members of the house like kids and women.
Setting up Fish Farming Ponds
Fish rearing in the pond has some specific requirements. Before constructing a pond it is necessary to choose the right type of site. Hence the first step in fish farming is selecting the right type of site.
The success of a fish business depends on the selection of the right place. The site chosen must have a good water supply all year round and the soil must have a good water retention capacity. Site selection factors can be divided into 3 categories as:
Biological factors are concerned with fish species chosen for culture purposes. Seed source, variety, culture type, species, etc. must be considered at the time of establishing a fish farm.
Climate, soil, water, and topography are the primary factors that must be considered when constructing fish farming ponds. These can be enumerated as below:
- Primarily the soil must be able to hold water in a pond. That is it must have good water retention capacity.
- Take a handful of soil in a wet hand and squeeze it. If the soil retains the shape after opening the palms, the soil is suitable for establishing a pond.
- Rocky, limestone, sandy soil must be avoided since they cannot retain water.
- Loamy soil, clayey soil, silt, etc. are best suited for pond construction.
- Gravel if present must not be more than 10%.
- Water must have a neutral pH. In the case of acidic or alkaline water, suitable corrections must be done.
- The pond must be constructed near natural water bodies like ponds or rivers. However, it should be away from the flooding area.
- Water salinity is another factor that must be considered as not all fish can tolerate saline water.
- Land topography is essential for engineering the pond construction. Areas like industrial zone, flood-prone areas, areas with poor rainfall, electricity poles, and densely rooted vegetation must be avoided.
Considering social factors while starting a fish business may sound paradoxical. This is however important since the tradition and culture of the place must be taken into account. This would ensure acceptance of the farm by the locales and no legal issues. Other factors include market aspects, transportation, accessibility, infrastructural facilities, etc.