Warangal: The purpose of farm ponds is primarily to conserve rainwater but Bala Vikasa, a Kazipet-based NGO, is promoting fish cultivation in these ponds to help the farmers earn additional income.
For the last two years, 10 farmers in Pamnoor village of Station Ghanpur mandal, Jangoan district, grew fish and showed their successful produce on Friday.
Talking on this occasion, Bala Vikasa executive director Singareddy Shoury Reddy said that they had provided financial assistance to small and marginal farmers to construct 300 farm ponds in the last four years.
The farm ponds store rainwater and increase the groundwater table in the surroundings. Farm ponds generally hold the water from July to January, if the rainfall is normal.
Noticing the availability of water in a majority of the farm ponds for 6-7 months, Bala Vikasa contemplated to use these pits to cultivate fish.
As a pilot project, 10 farmers each from Thimmaipally in Siddipet constituency and Raghavapur village in Palakurthy were encouraged to grow fish in the farm ponds.
The initiative was appreciated by the then irrigation minister Harish Rao. The farmers cultivated fish varieties that grew fast like Boccha, Ravulu and Bangarutheega.
For the second year, Bala Vikasa supplied about 1.5 lakh fish seed to 100 farmers during July-August in 2018. These 100 farmers are expecting an average profit of Rs 8,000 per pond.
Ramana Reddy Inugala, who owns a farm pond at Pamnoor, said: “My average net profit for one acre of regular crop is about Rs 10,000 and now, I am able to make Rs 8,000 extra income through a farm pond dug in 2 guntas of land. This is very encouraging as the farm pond is serving multiple purposes such as water conservation, irrigation and also fish cultivation. This is really good.”
Encouraged by the impact of this initiative, Bala Vikasa has decided to support another 250 organic farmers to construct new farm ponds this summer with a budget of Rs 40 lakh, supported by Kadoorie Charitable Foundation, Hong Kong and Manos Unidas, Spain.
Tirupati Pittala programme officer Mahesh, Gajender and other Bala Vikasa team members, 50 farmers from the village attended the event....