Towards afternoon, farmers of Langchenphug Gewog in Samdrup Jongkhar can be seen getting into pond with fishing net. They wait for the temperature to come down, which they say, is suitable for harvesting fish.
When they get the right temperature, a few of them hold one end of the net and the rest, the other end. And in one scooping movement, they have their catch in the net.
The fry (young fish) are released back into the pond and rest taken to Jomotsangkha market for sale.
The famers in Langchenphug say fish farming has benefited them economically. They have been into fish farming since 2004.
“We are able to earn cash and also get to eat fish without having to spend,” said a farmer of Langchenphug, Sha Bahadur Subba.
Apart from Langchenphug, other gewogs like Phuntshothang and Pemathang are also into fish farming. There are as many as 116 households that are into fish farming in the three gewogs.
They say rearing fish is simpler compared to rearing other animals. “We can easily feed the fish with available natural resources like grass and banana leaves which grows abundantly in our gewogs,” said Sha Bahadur Subba.
Also, the people living in the three gewogs are enthusiastic about fish farming. “We have active members of farmers in fish farming and have formed three groups, one at Rongchthang, second one in Jangsa village and the third one in Langchenphug,” said Lhadup Dorji, the Lagchenphug Gup.
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The three groups have 33 members. Lhadup Dorji said the groups were able to sell about right metric tons of fish last year. “We could earn well.”
The present fish farmers group will become a co-operative with proper management and accounting soon. There are plans to have marketing person elected from within the group.
The farmers will also make monthly contribution for group saving.
According to the Livestock Division, gewogs like Gomdar and Samrang are also keen on taking up fish farming.
An exhibition and sale, to promote fish farming, held at Jomotsangkha in October attracted many people. Students and teachers from the nearby school also participated in the exhibition.