Haryana has established a farmer producer organization (FPO) in Sirsa district with a foundation of 165 farmers to encourage prawn farming with the assistance of NABARD, with the goal of developing it into an organization like Amul with its own brand and processing capabilities.
The registration process is complete, and we will add all prawn farmers to the FPO. Once completed, we would be able to negotiate with hatcheries on seed price and other input expenses like as feed,” said Jagdish Chandra, district fishery officer in Sirsa and the driving force behind Haryana’s prawn farming expansion.
Farmers praise Chandra’s effort to lower electricity costs, which they have been requesting be set at INR 2 per unit. “Electricity is a large expense that a small farmer with 2-3 acres cannot afford,” said Kuldeep Singh of Sirsa’s Badaguda block.
He stated that he pays INR 3 lakh as an electrical cost for one crop that takes four to five months for two ponds of one acre each. Singh believes that the current rate of INR 4.75 per unit is unsustainable. Chandra established a policy that all members of The Sirsa Shrimp Farmer Producer Company adhere to in letter and spirit.
“Sirsa has a shrimp productivity of 11.5 tonnes per hectare, compared to the state average of 8 tonnes per hectare,” he said. “When I discovered that labour was a problem because the majority of skilled labour was coming from outside the state, we devised a solution by organizing a small group of 8-10 farmers who had ponds in a small area.”
“Whenever one farmer stocks seeds in a pond, others in the group join during that time to make the work easier,” Chandra explained. He stated that there are several more such works where the farmers stand together.
He stated that it is possible to build an organization like Amul by organizing farmers, for which the government will do everything possible because Haryana has the potential to offer a profitable alternative to them because soil degradation due to excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, as well as depleting water tables, are major concerns.
“Because Haryana is landlocked, direct export opportunities must be managed through a coastal state. Exporters are currently purchasing prawns at the farm gate, and farmers are unconcerned about marketing.”
“However, they have sensed the potential for higher returns with the current infrastructure being developed in the country, whether it is a rail or road network,” said an expert who has been working with farmers to provide technical advice.
Source: Krishi Jagran