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Integrated 'Rice+Fish farm' mooted in Ukhrul

 Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 25 2017: Modernized farming method under “Integrated Rice-Fish farm” has to be encouraged to wean the farmers from the primitive mode of agricultural activities under “Wet Terrace Paddy” cultivation to promote water conservation at the upland and check the growing forest depletion in the district .

This system of integrated farming (Rice+Fish farm) will benefit many villages and can generate substantial additional income for the farmers of Ukhrul district, said sources from the Fishery and Agriculture Department, Ukhrul .

According to them more than 2500 hectares of arable land are currently used as wet terrace paddy fields and the fields are all fed by river water throughout the year .

The people of Ukhrul have been practising paddy cum pisciculture farming since from time immemorial and this has been going on successfully till date .

Traditionally, the Tangkhul community usually construct a small pond inside the paddy field called Khaizum in Tangkhul dialect meaning fish bank .

Khaizum is about 3-5 feet in diameter and the fishes gather there making it easier to fish .


Integrated 'Rice+Fish farm' mooted in Ukhrul

Integrated 'Rice+Fish farm' mooted in Ukhrul



Yet the farmers of the district lack modern technological inputs or knowledge about this integrated farming to enhance their crop/fish production for large scale commercial purposes .

During a brief interaction, District Fishery Officer (DFO) Khamshing talked on the prospect and potential to develop and replace the wet terrace paddy land with integrated rice+fish farm and increase the benefits of the farmers .

He said more than 90% of the people of Ukhrul rely on agricultural activities for their livelihood and Ukhrul district has a huge tract of paddy land suitable for integrated farming.

The paddy land are located mostly in central Ukhrul, North and West, some portion of east and south of Ukhrul district .

Most of the paddy fields are situated at the river banks of Thoubal, Rangazak, Challou and Nungshangkong rivers etc .

All these wet terrace paddy land are fed by permanent perennial source of running water from the upper slope .

The integrated farming system is a cultivation of two crops in one plot of land .

According to him one hectare of land can produce not less than 1000 kg of fish annually and the fertility of the soil increases .

Thus the farmers will have a good paddy yield .

Apart from crop production, the farmers will gradually cultivate the good habit of water conservation in their paddy field to rear fish .

Then, there is every possibility to reduce the problem of water scarcity during dry season, he added .

The farmers would be more aware on the need of forest preservation and will restrain from unnecessary clearing of jungles, he said .

The DFO further mentioned that he has already prepared detailed projects about the feasibility of implementing Integrated Rice+Fish farm to replace the traditional wet terrace paddy cultivation at the district .

He said the same would be submitted to the higher authority .

As a part of his campaign on this project, DFO, Ukhrul has started awareness programme in some villages about the benefits and also to support the ambitious project in the wider interest of the farmers of Ukhrul district.