Article Nanaso Sawanta Dhok - pomegranate and fish farming done together

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    Commences fish farming to enhance quality and quantity of pomegranate production

    “Our Dighanchi village, Sangli District, Maharashtra is gifted belt for pomegranate farming but unfortunately it had been severely attacked by the deadly disease bacterial blight! Being a farmer’s son I always knew my soil will never let me down if the right actions are taken so I started fresh in 2012. I ordered new pomegranate saplings from Aurangabad and developed a fish pond within the farm to provide necessary nutrients to the saplings,” says progressive farmer, Mr. Nanaso Sawanta Dhok. Pomegranate and fish farming done together not only helps the farmer to meet the nutritive requirements of the trees but also helps him to cope with water scarcity. “Our region receives approximately 20mm rainfall annually. It is inadequate for farming but with fish pond water I am able to manage the irrigation of the pomegranate farm satisfactorily.”

    The fish pond was developed taking the subsidy benefit from the Maharashtra Government. The pond dimensions are 150 ft (length) * 200 ft (breadth) * 30 ft (depth). The cost incurred was Rs. 4 lakh and it was fully funded through subsidy. Rohu and catla are the two fishes raised. The pond is filled with the borewell water as and when needed and the fish water from the pond is used for irrigating the pomegranate trees. The water inlet and outlet is managed through a well established water pipelines. “It is all automatic. I have ensured no human involvement for irrigation,” he asserts. Further Mr. Dhok finds fish farming as the most effortless yet profitable vertical of farming!
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    Fish fingerlings are bought as per piece while sold later as per kg. The fingerlings are bought from the supplier at Rs. 11 thousand for 20 thousand fingerlings. “The supplier sends his employee once in a week to monitor the growth of the fish fingerlings. He ensures to remove the dead fishes if any. We only have to feed the fish and monitor the water on routine basis. In case of some problem or clarification we call him,” he adds. Minimum 10 feet water needs to be maintained in the pond for the fishes. Catla fishes usually stay at the base of the pond while Rohu is on the surface level. Speaking about the fish feed Mr. Dhok says, “I also run a restaurant. All the leftover food from the restaurant is fed to the fishes. In addition we give maize or wheat seeds to the fish to make certain the nutritive requirements for the fish are met meticulously.”
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    The fishes are sold to the fish fingerling supplier only. “We have a good understanding with him. He only catches the fish from the pond, weighs it in our presence and gives cash payment. Mostly the harvesting is done during winters as people prefer having fishes in their diet during colder times,” explains Mr. Dhok. Fishes are sold as per the market price that varies monthly.
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    There are 3000 pomegranate trees in the farm. The irrigation is done on alternative days during the fruiting season else once in a month. “During the pomegranate saplings’ purchase I asked the vendor to guarantee that the Mother plant was disease free, healthy and had good fruiting. The saplings were purchased at Rs. 30/sapling. At the moment entire plantation is diseases free and fruiting well. With the use of fish water the quality and quantity of the fruits has improved magnificently. Prior to 2012, in my farm one pomegranate fruit weighed between 250-350 gm but now the size is bigger, one fruit weighs around 750-800 gm. The sweetness in taste has also increased,” he claims. Fruits are sold from the farm gate to a Hyderabad based fruit wholesaler. The production is more than 12 ton annually.
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    Mr. Dhok is quite happy with his agricultural venture. He plans to expand his farming model of pomegranate and fish farming in a new farm. He concludes saying, “Farming is the only business that can give profits beyond visualization. I invested only Rs. 2.5 lakh in pomegranate farming and got Rs. 9 lakh profits. It is far more profitable than my restaurant business. City folks will be good with mathematics, they can work on the figures and check out! Moreover in farming there are worries on black and white money!!”

    Contact details:
    Mr. Nanaso Sawanta Dhok
    At Post Dighanchi, Taluk – Atpadi,
    Sangli District, Maharashtra - 415315
    Phone: 09011116911
     

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