Fish fair to help State farmers tide over crisis

Last Updated 14 November 2015, 20:12 IST

 At a time when farmers in the State are reeling under drought, the Krishi Mela this year will focus on several concepts to help them cope with their problems. One such initiative is the ‘Matsya Mela’ which seeks to encourage fisheries.

The Krishi Mela is being hosted at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru, from November 19 to 22. While earlier, the Matsya Mela used to be organised with the co-ordination of the Department of Fisheries, this time the university has taken up the initiative in an elaborate manner including more stakeholders and integrating it with the Krishi Mela.

The focus of the Matsya Mela is to highlight that even in distress, farmers can still effectively rear fish, said S D Seenappa, chief scientific officer and university head, Animal Sciences and Fisheries.

Not only will the Mela help small-time farmers make profit from urban fisheries, it will also have features such as ornamental fisheries, display of exotic fish and chef demonstrations, all set to attract the urban crowd.

The Mela will demonstrate how to maximise productivity in dry zones. “For instance, in dry zones where farmers depend on borewell water, they can build a storage pond. They could cultivate fish in their backyard. If they are breeding cattle at home, the dung could be added to the fish culture pond, which increases fertility. This way, they can make use of resources already available around them, making them effective, productive and innovative.”As many as 10 research and development institutions are participating in the Matsya Mela, offering information on technology and schemes available for the benefit of farmers.

“Farmers will also get to interact with businessmen in the field, which will bridge the gap between production and sales,” Seenappa added.

There is plenty on the platter for fishery hobbyists, too. Freshwater pearl farming, aquaponics, garage farming, urban ornamental fish cultivation are some highlights. An aquarium gallery with 70 tanks featuring exotic fish is another unique feature. The ecosystems in which they breed will be recreated in each of the tanks.

 Visitors can also benefit from e-marketing platforms, where a variety of fish can be procured online from any part of the country.

Matsya Mela highlights

 How to rear fish
 How to run urban fisheries
 Display of exotic fish
 Ornamental fisharies
 Chef demonstrations
 Fish culture
 Pearl farming
 Garage farming

(Published 14 November 2015, 20:12 IST)

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