Himachal Pradesh has emerged as a major trout fish producing state in the country with the hilly state all set to touch a record 685 metric tonne production, the highest ever, during the current financial year.
Speaking to ANI, Himachal's Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Minister Virender Kanwar said, "A total of 568.443 metric tonne trout fish production valuing Rs 2558.00 lakh was recorded in the state during the year 2018-19 in seven trout fish production districts of Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kangra and Sirmaur."
"We set up a target of 800 metric tonnes trout fish production in barren cold water during the year 2020-21 while 950 metric tonnes trout fish production target has been fixed for the year 2021-22," he added.
The state government has decided to open trout fish outlets at Shimla, Chamba and Kangra under Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Blue Revolution. These outlets will be made functional shortly, the minister said.
Trout Fishery in Himachal Pradesh has been introduced in 600 km riverine length at the higher altitudes of cold water streams in snow-fed rivers of Beas, Sutlej and Ravi which are most conducive for trout farming in the hill state.
Kanwar said his department has chalked out an ambitious marketing strategy for sale of trout fish and 940 trout units will be developed as revenue-earning centres to boost economic activities in the sector.
The state fisheries department will also establish trout clusters during the current financial year for the marketing of trout fish through mobile fish vans in the state.
Presently around 50 per cent of trout produced is being sold outside the state mainly in five-star hotels in metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
The state government has decided to shift focus on marketing to metropolitan cities by enhancing quality and quantity both to ensure remunerative prices to around 500 trout farming families in the state.
The Ministry is also planning to develop an online sale portal for fish in collaboration with ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Kochi.
The state govt has established eight trout farms in Kullu, Chamba, Mandi, Kinnaur and Shimla districts to boost trout fish production in the state.
Kanwar said the state government has decided to set up 29 trout hatcheries in private sector for trout farming in seven districts viz. Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kangra and Sirmaur under CSS-BR and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna in the coming years.
He said the state government is also planning to set up fish seed certification and accreditation agency for providing quality seeds and feeds to the trout fish farmers in the state.
The state fisheries department is also providing trout insurance to trout growers.