suAnantnag: The trout fish farm in Kokernag in Anantnag district, considered one of Asia’s largest such farm, is not just realising but perhaps surpassing expectations as more than 7 lakh eyed-ova (fish seeds) have been exported to different states for rearing, including to Sikkim, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The number of eyed-ova supplied to other states is in addition to the ones supplied to government and private fish farms across Kashmir valley.
“We cannot export fish, for it will die in the transit, and therefore the eyed-ova is exported,” the Chief Project Officer (CPO) of the farm, Muzaffar Bazaaz, told Kashmir Reader. “It is called the eyed-ova because the two dots on the seed gradually become the eyes of the fish.”
This export of the seed is set to increase the revenue generated by the farm and is all set to surpass last year’s revenue by a good margin, the officials said.
“Last year our total revenue generated was 1.83 crore rupees. This year till the end of January we have managed to take the revenue to 1.3 crore rupees and it is expected to swell,” Bazaaz told Kashmir Reader.
This revenue has substantially gone up in February as only this morning (Saturday) the farm sent 2,00,000 eyed-ova to Sikkim. “Besides, the season stretches up to the end of March. So, yes, the revenue is set to get a serious shot in the arm this year,” Bazaaz said.
Spread over 400 kanals of land, the farm was set up in 1984 by the Fisheries department with assistance from the European Economic Community. A rarity in Kashmir, the farm has excelled at what it was supposed to do.
It not only produces trout fish, including the special rainbow trout, which the farm is known for — worth crores every year — but it also supplies seeds to more than 500 fish farmers annually. The farm’s trout fish sale in 2018 was 1.73 crore rupeess and in 2019 it was 1.83 crore rupees.
Bazaaz said that Kashmir’s Rainbow Trout is preferred over many other trout for the reason that they have a good colour and are good for research purposes.
“Besides, the fish is an immunity booster. It needs temperatures between zero and 20 degree celsius, which makes Kashmir its natural habitat,” Bazaaz said. “We get regular orders from outside the state and we have been able to fulfill the local as well as the outside demand for the seeds and the fish equally.”
This year, Bazaaz said, the seeds have been supplied to four states, though last year no seed was exported. “We are expecting a rise in the exports from now onwards, which will be a major boost in increasing the revenue from the project,” he said.