If you have observed we at Tersebox write a lot about farmers who went beyond traditional farming technique and did something new in the field of farming. Their work is recognized by the government of India and they have been awarded Padma Shri this year. They are Padma Shri Kanwal Singh Chauhan and Padma Shri Rajkumari Devi. Their methods are unique and bold. One more such farmer is awarded Padma Shri for his bold vision which is so different that he is consider as a pioneer in that field. His name is Sultan Singh and his vision is of Fish Farming.
Sultan Singh was born in Butana village near Nilokheri town of Haryana. His family used to practice traditional farming. During BA’s studies in 1983, he decided to do fish farming instead of traditional farming. He took a pond on rent for 500 rupees and putting a fish seed of 7 thousand rupees. After a waiting period of about one and a half year, he made a profit of Rs 1.62 lakh.
With this profit, he took ponds of surrounding villages on lease and started fishing.
Fish framing is basically a process in which fish seeds (which are fertilized fish eggs) are put in ponds or any other artificial water bodies and are cultivated with proper food given to them and by providing enough oxygen. These Fish seeds can be of many types ranging from:
- Hatchling: Larvae stage where it have yolk sac hanging below from where it draws its nutrition for 2–3 days. It can’t eat from outside as mouth is not formed yet.
- Spawn: Stage where mouth is formed.
- Fry: About 2 cm long, now, it can eat small size zooplanktons.
- Fingerling: About 15 cm long. It is now becomes easier to transport these kinds of fishes to Ponds.
Sultan Singh initially bought these seeds from Kolkata which would get spoiled in the process. Later he came in contact with Dr. Markande from KVF who taught him about cultivation of fish seeds. So, in 1986, he took 5 acres of barren land from his father and constructed a pond and started the first fish cultivation plant in North India. Today, fish farmers from Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Himachal and Jammu & Kashmir come to buy fish seeds from Sultan.
Sultan Singh made 13 kinds of fish seeds. Later he studied the inter breeding of fishes and decided against keeping fish of same breed. He also studied the requirement of oxygen needed a particular tank of known capacity as many fishes used to die due to lack of oxygen. Also, the food which is provided to fish was checked. Sultan Singh explains that he has put RAS (Recirculation Aqua System) on his fish farm. You can use the same water for 10 years. With this system, they save water minerals and other nutrients and keep recycling water. Less water is taking more production. At present Sultan Singh is fishing on 27 acres. The total income is about Rs.1 crore with 50% profit. Sultan has won numerous awards nationally as well as internationally. On 16th March, 2019, GOI conferred Sultan Singh with Padma Shri. This average chap from a traditional farming family created such a farming technique that he is known and respected all over the globe.
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