Monday, June 18, 2012

IAF Article: Feed management for carp

With the news that there may be a new Asian carp plant opening in Illinois, I thought we'd take a look at an International Aquafeed article on feed management for the species.

This feature, written by R Ramakrishna, explores the feed management of three species of carp in India.

English: Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus in...
English: Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus in Kolleru, Andhra Pradesh, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was first published in International Aquafeed Jan/Fen 2012.  Read the article as it appears in the magazine here or scroll down for just the text.

On-farm feed management practices for three Indian major carp species in Andhra Pradesh, India
by R Ramakrishna

Global aquaculture production is estimated at 66.7 million tonnes. Asian fed aquaculture contributed for 54 percent of the total aquaculture production. The estimated fish production from Asia contributed 88.5 percent of fish in terms of quantity and 71 percent in terms of value to total world fed aquaculture production (FAO, 2006). 

Global food fish production projected by the year 2020 is 130 million tonnes, out of which the production from aquaculture is expected to be 53.6 million tonnes. The estimated production form carps, barbs and other cyprinids from India was 10.74 million tonnes (Brugere and Ridler, 2004).

India is a carp country from aquaculture point of view. There has been a phenomenal expansion of commercial carp culture in constructed earthen ponds in certain Indian states such as Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana.

In several other states (Orissa, Karnataka and Tamilnadu) commercial carp culture is gaining momentum. Reservoirs and other freshwater bodies are also the important sources of Indian major carp production in India.

The recent freshwater fish production in India is 3.7 million tonnes of which about 80 percent (2.96 million tonnes) is from the production of the three Indian major carps namely Labeo rohita Hamilton (rohu), Catla catla Hamilton (catla), and Cirrhinus mrigala Hamilton (mrigal) from Asia. There production is: rohu, 1,332,000; catla, 1,331,000 and mrigal, 360,000 tonnes (2008a). About 90 percent of the production of the three Indian major carps is expected to be contributed from India.

Widely cultivated
Indian major carps are widely cultured in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan also. Both rohu and catla were introduced in to nine non-native countries and mrigal in to seven such countries (Welcome, 1988).

Until the 19th Century carp culture was confined to backyard ponds in Eastern Indian states west Bengal, Orissa and Bihar. The source of seed for this type culture was natural seed from reverine resources. The advent of successful induced breeding through hypophysation in 1957, carp seed production technology provided an impetus for a new era of carp culture in the country.

The demonstration of successful composite culture of Indian- and Chinese major carps by the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute in West Bengal state during the period 1963 through 1984 (Jhingran, 1991), and massive demonstration of this culture technology through Fish Farmers Development Agencies located through out the country inspired private farmers to take up seed production and pond culture of major carps on a commercial scale.   
In Andhra Pradesh, pond culture of Indian major carps was initiated in the Kolleru Lake region in 1976, with the construction of 133 fish ponds by the State Government, covering an area of 2040ha.

Success achieved by a few private farmers during the initial years of culture encouraged people belonging to a cross section of the society in Krishna and West Godavari districts to take up commercial fish culture in and around Kolleru Lake on a large scale.

Other factors, which contributed to the rapid development of fish culture in this region, include, frequent inundation of agricultural cropland due to floods, increased cost of labour, and low return from paddy crops.

By the year 1981 several fish farms ranging from 2 to 100 ha were constructed in this region (Gopal Rao, 1987). Fish culture area continued to expand beyond 1981 resulting in the conversion of about 5000ha of flood-prone fallow land and even agricultural fields. Most of the carp culture area in Andhra Pradesh is located in and around the Kolleru Lake (Nandeesha and Gopal Rao, 1989).

By 1985, fish culture expanded on a large scale to other irrigated areas in Krishna and Godavari districts and on a smaller scale to Nellore, Guntur, Prakasam and East Godavari districts. (see Figure 1) shows the estimated culture area of Indian major carps in the Kolleru and surrounding areas in the West Godavari and Krishna districts during 1981 to 2010.

The culture area of Indian major carps reached a peak of 80,000ha. With the gradual expansion of pangus culture, 10,000ha, of area originally belonged to the culture of Indian major carps has been converted for mono or mixed culture of Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, Sauvage, (pangus), introduced in to Andhra Pradesh in 1994 to 1995 from Bangladesh via West Bengal State, India.

Thus, the culture area of Indian major carps reduced to the presently estimated 70,000ha. Presently the total pangus area in the state is estimated to be 20,000ha. The field observations indicate that the culture area of both Indian major carps and pangus is still expanding in West Godavari, Krishna, East Godavari and Nellore districts. 
The Kolleru Lake and surrounding areas in the West Godavari and Krishna districts is the present cradle of Indian major carps and pangus culture. In East Godavari and Nellore districts estimated the culture area is 4000ha each.
The yearly production of Indian major carps from Andhra Pradesh during the years 2000 to 2010 are presented in the Figure 2.

Capture fisheries
Traditionally, Kolleru Lake has been a rich wild fisheries resource. Capture fisheries production was 7000 tonnes in 1974. During the years of normal environmental conditions the production contributed by fish other than carps was about 50 percent, and prawns and carps was 30 percent and 10 percent respectively (Venkateswara Rao et al., 2003).

Source water for fish culture  
In West Godavari, Krishna and East Godavari districts the fish farmers are allowed to draw water only from the agricultural drains, for which they pay Rs. 500/- as a revenue charge. In Nellore district water for fish culture is drawn from irrigation canals, drains. In this district sub soil water (drawn out mechanically for bore wells) is also a major sources for fish culture. The ponds or farms of a fish farmer are registered by the state government on the insistence that the farmer uses only drain water for the culture.

Organic manures and inorganic fertilizers
Manures and fertilizers play a key role in the Indian major carp culture in producing phytoplankton and zooplankton. The two most widely used organic manures poultry manure followed by cattle manure are abundantly available in the state and in the fish culture areas also since Andhra Pradesh is basically an agrarian state, with rich population of cattle, and stands number one in the country in poultry farming. The poultry manure is a waste at poultry farms and is to be disposed off. Poultry manure is supplied to farmers through dealers, who maintain contacts with the owners of big poultry farms located across the state.

The mode of transport is by 10 to17 tonnes capacity lorries. The transport cost, which comes to Rs250 to 300 per tonne (Rs100=US$1.89) is included in the price paid by the farmer. The dealer gets a commission of Rs200 to 300 per 10 tonnes of poultry manure delivered. Cattle dung is usually procured from the production points in the near by areas not by dealers, but by the tractor owners in the local areas. They deal with the owners of the production points and transport the manure up to a distance of five to 20km; each tractor can transport 2 to 3 tonnes of cattle dung. Besides the transport charge, the owners obtain a commission of Rs75 to 100 (Rs100=US$1.89) per each tonne cattle dung delivered.

Among the chemical fertilisers, single super phosphate, di-ammonium phosphate and urea is the widely used fertilisers, through potash and complex fertilisers are also used. These fertilisers are commonly used in the rice agriculture and other crops grown in the same districts.

Both the groups of farmers, of agriculture and fish culture, purchase the chemical fertilisers from the state government - authorized local dealers, or local agricultural cooperatives stores.

All these are under the control and regulation of the district Agricultural Officers. During the periods of shortage, the agricultural officers ensure that the chemical fertilisers are sold to agriculture farmers only. Fish farmers have to wait till the free availability of the fertilisers restores or they have to purchase them through rice agriculturists usually at a little higher price.  

Fish farmers are allowed to use electricity for fish culture management. The electricity is usually supplied for seven hours, but often intermittently due to shortage of power supply. Farmers represent that they need a continuous supply of electricity or at least uninterrupted power supply during 9pm to 8am, during which period the dissolved oxygen in the ponds often fall to critical levels and hence aeration of ponds with the help of engines becomes a necessary and often the most crucial remedial measure to save the crop. 

Sources of finance
The main sources of finance for fish farmers in the state are the nationalised banks and the district co-operative central banks with their branches in the fish culture areas, and private financiers.

Nationalised banks
The nationalised banks have an almost uniform policy of granting loans to fish farmers in the state. The banks sanction an amount of Rs100,000 (Rs100=US$1.89) for construction and Rs400,000/ha for crop loan at 18 percent annual interest rate of against mortogation of the documents of the land of the farmer. The loan sanctioned for pond construction is called tern loan, and this loan may be repaid with in three to seven years, as opted by the farmer. The crop loan is to be paid after harvest of each crop.

A farmer is eligible to obtain crop loan for his next crop, even with in one year, if he repays the current crop loan. If a lessee has a valid agreement signed by the owner of a pond or farm, for a period of five consecutive years, the lesser is also eligible to obtain crop loans from the nationalized and local co-operative banks.

Co-operative banks
At the present the co-operative banks are granting a working capital to meet the cost of culture for one year or less than on year culture period (not for pond digging or other costs of construction). The scale of finance for each ha water spread area is Rs275,000 to 300,000 (Rs100=US$1.89) for the culture of Indian major carps and Rs550,000 for pangus culture.

Private financiers
In the interior Kolleru Lake the villages from in to co-operative societies, not by registration, but by mutual understanding. Each of these co-operative bodies, locally called ‘Bantas’ comprise 40 to 50 members and collectively culture ponds of 15 to 20ha.

The executive committee of the ‘Banta’ used to obtain loan required for one-year culture period from the private financers at 36 percent annual interest rate. Private financers usually don’t insist for any collateral security, the loans are given mainly based on the repayment capacity and personal creditability of the farmer. All the members share the net profit equally.

One variation of Banta management in the recent years is that the member’s lease out their ponds to a group of four to five villagers, who raise the capital required for culture and the lease amount, is shared by the members.

Of all the Indian major carp culture areas in Andhra Pradesh the lease amount is the highest in these Banta villages. As the Indian major carp culture established in the Kolleru area a rich class of farmers developed in these villages and presently, the Banta farmers borrow money from these farmers at an annual interest rate of 18 percent instead of from the private financiers elsewhere at higher rate of interest.

National Fisheries Development Board
The National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) was established in July 2006, in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. NFDB is an autonomous organization under the administrative control of the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, of (the Government of India). The overall objective of the board is to empower all Indian states and union territories through implementing various activities related to almost all spheres of fisheries and aquaculture in the country and also through providing financial support mainly through subsidies.

NFDB provides financial assistance to the eligible candidates for the establishment of feed mills of large scale (installed capacity five tonnes/ha), medium scale (two tonnes/ha), and small scale (1.2 tonnes/ha) units. For the first two categories a loan up to 40 percent of the cost of machinery equipment and building is sanctioned at an annual interest rate of five percent.

For the small scale unit a subsidy of 20 percent of the total unit cost (which is Rs750,000 (Rs100=US$1.89) in this case with a limit of Rs15,000 per unit) will be provided.

For freshwater fish culture NFDB sanctions Rs300,000/ha for construction of a new fishpond for culturing existing species or new species, (for example pangus), with 20 percent subsidy, but with a ceiling of Rs60,000/ha. For special category of farmers belonging to scheduled castes and schedule tribes the subsidy is 25 percent, with a ceiling of Rs75,000 / ha.

For cost of inputs, including feed, NFDB sanctions Rs50,000/ha (with 20 percent subsidy) for one crop period for Indian major carps, and all other existing species, (for example Chinese major carps which have been cultured in the state for many years).
For pangus culture, the input cost provided is Rs500,000/ha with 40 percent subsidy for an initial period of two years and there after 20 percent for all farmers, and 25 percent for the special category farmers mentioned. NFDB also provides financial assistance for renovation of aged aquaculture ponds, fish seed farms, establishment of fish hatcheries, prawn and shrimp hatcheries.

Besides, NFDB provide grants to the government fishery institutes, and the other eligible agencies for conducting training programs, demonstrations for the benefit of aquaculturists.          

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