February 2018

Fishing for a better living

By training people to follow a systematic approach towards fishery, the Trusts’ efforts to promote the vocation is yielding great results in Assam

Pramod’s success in fishery has set an example for villagers in Assam

Pramod Doley is a farmer from the Mising community, residing in Gohaipukhuri village in Lakhimpur district in Assam. He is member of a fishery activity group formed under the CML-Tata Trusts-Mising Autonomous Council’s (MAC) Collaborative Multithematic Livelihood Intervention. The project has many components, of which the fishery component primarily addresses the issue of low involvement of people in fishery activities despite the presence of a large number of water bodies in the region.

One of the reasons for this was low productivity of fisheries and the drying up of ponds for 2-3 months during winters. On the other hand, people from the Mising community, like the people of Assam in general, are known to be fish lovers. Demand is high, and so are the prices. These contradictory situations provided a unique opportunity to demonstrate the feasibility of fishery as a viable source of income.

In this regard, Pramod Doley has indeed demonstrated that fishery is not only a viable but also a highly lucrative livelihood option. On his engaging with the programme, he got a structured hands-on training in pond preparation and management, and stocked around 1,500 fish seeds (yearlings) in his pond. Over the next few months, he followed the simple, standard package of practices — liming, manuring, netting, ensuring proper water turbidity and PH, and providing periodic feed as prescribed under the programme.

Pramod made an investment of nearly Rs12,000, of which a large chunk went towards pond development. With this, he achieved a phenomenal increase of 156 percent in production — from 146kg to 375kg. Keeping aside some produce for personal consumption, he has sold over 250kg of fish and has already realised a profit of over Rs26,000.

Apart from producing fish for the table, he is also involved in the production of fish seeds of the common carp varieties. Talking about the venture, Pramod says, “This is a group activity wherein, with an investment of Rs22,000, my three partners and I have produced and sold around 36,400 yearlings, making a profit of Rs86,000.” Through his individual effort and participation in a group initiative, Pramod has been able to earn a significant amount of money, and his experience has driven many people in his village to undertake fishery as a vocation.

This story has been taken from the SDTT annual report 2016-17.