Mahakalapara: The government is giving top priority to fish farming, but its efforts are becoming fruitless due to lack of infrastructure.
The government had provided training to fish farmers in Mahakalapara block in Kendrapara district. But during summer, the training, they say, is of no use as almost all water bodies dry up and become unfit for breeding fingerlings.
So, fish farmers are forced to buy fingerlings spawned artificially from West Bengal and Bangladesh at exorbitant prices.
The artificially spawned and bred fingerlings generally come from areas of West Bengal like Contai, Hooghly, Naihat and Badatala Market and Bangladesh, and are being sold in Mahakalapara and nearby areas.
“We do not have any government facilities for artificial hormone-induced spawning and breeding of fish here. So we have to buy fingerlings from outsiders by paying much more than the actual price,” said fish farmers Babaji Behera and Laxmikant Swain.
A businessman from West Bengal says he is selling fingerlings at Rs 2,000 or more for a kilo.
With no way out, the fish farmers of Batighar, Kharinasi, Ramnagar, Baulakani, Jamboo, Suniti, Gagua, Petchela and Baradanga panchayats of Mahakalapara block are buying fingerlings from outsiders.
Fish farmers like Babaji Behera, Laxmikant Swain, Sundar Mohan Singh, Sadashiv Rout and many others have urged the government to take steps for artificial fingerling production, and make them available at subsidised rates to farmers.