In order to meet the increasing demand for food, there is a need to increase fruit, vegetables and fish production in the region; to this end, composite fish farming has a great role
Composite fish farming with poultry birds, vegetables and fruits has been gaining popularity in the Rajshahi region contributing a lot towards meeting the gradually increasing demands for animal protein and other nutrition.
Many people have set up small-scale poultry farms and vegetable gardens surrounding their ponds with more investments as they get extra income from composite farming.
The gradual rising of investment to the venture has added a new dimension to the existing economic and other allied fields in the region for the last couple of years.
Shafiqul Islam, a fish farmer of Keshorhat village under Mohanpur upazila, has five big size ponds with around 75 bigha of water area.
He has established chicken and duck farms and vegetable gardens in surrounding areas. He has been supplying live fishes to Dhaka by truck regularly.
Islam earned around Tk1 crore from farming during last around eight years besides creating employment opportunities for many people.
Anwar Hossain, another farmer of Boilsingh area under Bagmara upazila, has become an icon in the field of composite farming of fish, poultry birds and vegetables playing a vital role in boosting the local economy.
He has integrated fish farming in 22 ponds of more than 1,320 bigha of water bodies and contributes to improving socio-economic conditions.
Hossain said training and technical support would help increase the knowledge of farmers, improve productivity and reduce risks.
The prospects for composite fish culture development in the region are considerable but determination is required to exploit the potential fully.
Ashraf Ali of Bardhanpur village under Durgapur upazila has earned success through composite fish farming in 20 ponds for the last around 20 years. He set up a fish feed factory in his locality with his earnings.
General Secretary of District Fish Farmers Association Sohrab Hossain here told BSS that the farmers are being habituated to and interested in modern fish farming leaving behind the conventional method.
There is no alternative to coming out from the conventional practice to produce safe and chemical-free fish, he opined.
A range of public and private sector investments and initiatives are needed to realize the potential for growth of this integration.
Public-private partnerships offer potentially important opportunities for pro-poor agricultural development.
Such collaborations have already contributed to food security in many developing countries.
Moreover, applied research in areas such as small indigenous fish farming in wetlands may need to be given particular attention, considering nutritional benefits among household members including children and women.
In addition, further research would be required on social, economic, environmental and livelihood issues for the adoption of integrated fish farming in rural areas, the fish farmer added.
In order to meet the increasing demand for food, there is a need to increase fruit, vegetables and fish production in the region. To this end, composite fish farming has a great role.
It is, therefore, suggested that integrated fish farming should be extended with the help of government organizations, NGOs, donor agencies and other key stakeholders.
Divisional Deputy Director of the Department of Fisheries Tofazuddin Ahmed Rajshahi division has attained significant success in the field of composite fish farming as it is a suitable place for the venture.
He also said Rajshahi is the pioneer in the field of supplying live fishes to different parts in the country including the capital Dhaka.
After farming fish, many people both urban and rural have become rich in the region.
He said the matter of selling live fish in Rajshahi markets has created a new dimension as those are being transported to many other districts from here.