Fish farmers in Punjab are experimenting with therapeutic wonders such as garlic, ginger and aloe vera. They are growing these plants on the banks of their fish ponds. These plants serve a twin purpose — the farmers use them for their own consumption and also to improve the nutritional value of “traditional” fish feed.
By Minna Zutshi
Folk medicine speaks about the health-enhancing value of these plants and now fishery experts too are endorsing their health-augmenting qualities. According to experts, parts of these plants used in powdered form improve the quality of fish feed.
Jasvir Singh, a fish farmer from Khanna, grows garlic on the banks of his fish pond in his ancestral Karodian village. Garlic is grown without the use of any chemical, hence it’s organic. He uses its powder to feed his fish. “I add around 20 gm organically-grown garlic powder to 1kg fish feed. It gives good results in terms of better fish health which means better quality of fish meat,” says Jasvir.
According to experts, supplementing fish feed with herbal ingredients like garlic, aloe vera, ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), amla (Indian gooseberry) and ginger enhances the quality of fish meat. A mix of these in powdered form is combined with the regular fish feed. Around 10-20 gm of this herb powder is added to 1 kg fish feed.
“These plants are natural immune-stimulating growth promoters. They help in developing resistance of fish to various diseases. They also enhance the quality of fish meat in terms of its protein nutrient. Besides, they are cost-effective, eco-friendly and hardly have any side-effect,” says Dr Meera D Ansal, Head, Department of Aquaculture, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana.
According to Dr Ansal, the meat of the fish fed with natural immunostimulants tastes no different from the “regular” fish meat. However, the flesh quality of the fish administered such herbal feed is much better.
Fish farmers in Punjab are fast adopting such easily-implementable ideas, say experts from the vet varsity. The Innovative Fish Farmers’ Association encourages farmers to adopt new and innovative practices in their farming.
Natural growth promoter
According to experts, supplementing fish feed with herbal ingredients like garlic, aloe vera, ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), amla (Indian gooseberry) and ginger enhances the quality of fish meat
A mix of these in powdered form is combined with the regular fish feed. Around 10-20 gm of this herb powder is added to 1 kg fish feed