Fishery Family Farming School – a new concept of extension

West Bengal is the first state in India starting with this new training method opened by the Department of
Fisheries. 

An initiative of the West Bengal Government Fisheries Department, the “Family Farming Fishery Farm School”
project was funded at Haldia and Sutahata blocks, on the bank of the village pond. The project did not focus
only on the male fish farmers, but on the whole family, including their wives.
Suman Kumar Sahu, Fishery Extension Officer, Haldia and Sutahata Blocks, said that, “Usually, individual fish
farmers or self-help groups of men and women are trained separately. Family farming is a universally accepted
concept in the international arena, through which socio-economic development in rural areas is possible.”
Family Farming is a training school given by fishery officers and fishery scientists. At the end of the training
course, a training certificate is given to all participants.

The topics covered in the training are:
 Training on household based pond aquaculture and nutrition awareness.
 Maintenance of a backyard fishpond. Pre-stocking, stocking and post-stocking management.
 On-farm feeding and management in aquaculture and low-cost fish feed formulated with locally
available ingredients with front line demonstration.
 Fish farming in the village pond through aquaponics systems: fish and vegetable culture.
 Physico-chemical parameters and pond water quality assessment with practical demonstration.
 Fish and prawn disease diagnosis and control.
 Finfish breeding and hatchery management.
 Culture concepts of new species introduction such as amur fish, Vietnam koi, jayanti rohu, sarputi,
monosex tilapia.

The species that fish farmers in the project are working with are Indian major carps culture, primarily in
polyculture systems, mixed polycultures of IMC and exotic carp (catla, rohu and mrigal together with three
other exotic carps such as silver carp, grass carp and common carp), monosex tilapia farming, giant
freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii farming in mono and polyculture, and catfish farming (Clarias
batrachus, Heteropneustes fossilis).

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