Fish for good health!

Fishes are the best ‘health-food’ since time immemorial. DH Photo

B  asavanna, resident of Vidyaranyapuram would have remained unemployed for many years if he didn’t venture into selling fish. Now, after 12 years Basavanna has not only been able to meet his own expenses, but also take care of a family of six with the help of this trade. Today, he is an agent listed under Karnataka Co-operative Fisheries Federation (KCFF) with a kiosk set up by the Federation, near Shanthisagar hotel complex in Kuvempunagar. Along with selling fish, he also sells varieties of food items prepared in kiosk such as fish kabab, boneless fish and other mouth-watering dishes.

Speaking to City Herald, he said that there was lukewarm response from the public in initial years in Mysore for buying fish. It was difficult to even sell just 20 to 30 kilos of fish, though it cost very very less even in those days. But, the market for fish has now grown with changing times and he now sells more than 200 kg every day!

On days when fish is left unsold, it would be used for preparing varieties of food items in the evening, which certainly get sold like hot cakes. Thanks to health-conscious people who understand the benefits of consuming fish, food items at the kiosk get sold like hot cakes.

In order to make an extra buck, Basavanna also makes chicken items which have equally good market. Unemployed person once, he has employed three persons to help his business. “Hygiene and cleanliness around the kiosk as per the directions of KCFF and Mysore City Corporation is of utmost priority. The waste generated from this kiosk would be scientifically and systematically disposed without hurting the sentiments of the people,” he says.

This is one of the success stories of KCFF and its initiatives. The Federation has helped unemployed persons, widows and others to eke out decent living and created an opportunity to market inland fish procured from within the State.

Speaking to City Herald, Managing Director of Karnataka Co-operative Fisheries Federation Siddaiah said that about 99 marketing kiosk’s were set up by the federation in various district and taluk -level head quarters in state. Mysore city has 38 such kiosk’s.
The kiosk’s were set up, at a cost of Rs 1.5 lakh each, under various schemes of the government. The Federation rents the plot by the roads from Mysore City Corporation after paying required fees to a certain period. Power connection, deep freezer, weighing instruments, crates and other items would be provided by the Federation to the agents who sell fish. The Federation which procures fish from primary fish co-operative society members, who rear them at government owned ponds and lakes in various villages of the state on contract basis. The Federation purchases fish from these producers offering best price to them, transports and supplies to the agents of various kiosk’s. The objective behind this initiative is to help the fish rearers and to supply fish which is very rich in protein at the cost effective price thereby strengthening the food security needs of the country. The Federation procures about 5000 tonnes of fish everyday from inland fisheries belt of the state to cater to the demands of the consumers.

The production of fish is at its peak between February and July. Usually, native fishes such as katla, rohu, mrigal, common corp, grass corp and silver corp are cultivated.      

The Federation purchases fish from the state of Andhra Pradesh twice in a week when there is shortage. Besides, the Federation had also had understanding with other sister agency of Fisheries department such as Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation (KFDC) to procure sea fish to meet the demand of the consumers.  The Federation has also planned to set up modern kiosk to sell ornamental fish, sea fish and country fish under one platform in the coming days.

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