Sloppy: Asia’s largest fish farm in Kokernag faces dearth of staff, funds
Anantnag: Asia’s largest fish farm in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district is faced with the shortage of staff which is hampering the work there, sources said.
The Trout fish farm in Kokernag which is spread over 20 hectares of land has just 40 employees to cater to all the sections. This is making things worse as the farm is not being maintained orderly, the sources added.
Notably, the farm is emerging as best producer of Rainbow trout fish which are being sold in different markets of India.
Officials within the department said that at present the farm is generating revenue in crores per year and if the farm is equipped with more men and machinery, more revenue can be generated.
“Every year, the production of fish is increasing and at the same time the staff strength gets reduced as employees are retiring every year and no new employees are being deputed to the farm,” an insider in the department said.
He further added that despite working day and night at the farm, most of the employees are waiting for promotion since decades.
Interestingly, the farm generated revenue of 1.73 Cr in 2018 while as 1.83 Cr revenue was generated in 2019. Besides, the farm also sold fish seed worth Rs 40 lakh to farmers as well during the last fiscal.
“We are giving our best due to which our fishes are being sold all over India, but government must provide us required funds and staff to run the farm very well,” a staffer posted here said.
Trout farming project was set up in Kokernag by the fisheries department with the assistance of European Economic Community in 1984.
The introduction of trout in Kashmir is credited to Britain’s Frank Mitchell who reared trout in the premises of Bagh-e-Dilawar Khan in Srinagar during 1899.
Trout is a highly nutritious food which contains fatty acids required for the development of the brain and retina in infants.
Commenting on upgrading the infrastructure at the farm, DDC Anantnag KK Sidha said that recently Chief Secretary himself visited the farm where he assured that more man power besides funds will be provided to the farm so that it can be maintained well and more revenue can be generated here.