Govt constructs 380 fish farms in KP


Khyber Pakthunkhwa Government is constructing about 380 trout fish farms mostly in Malakand and Hazara divisions to increase meat production in the province.
Fisheries Department’s officials told APP on Monday that 287 trout fish farms were being constructed under Development of Cold Water Fisheries Project (DCWFP) in Khyber Pakthunkhwa costing Rs772.148 million under the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Development Programme (PMAGDP).
Similarly, around 93 are being built under Establishment of Trout Villages’ Project (ETVP) in Malakand and Hazara divisions with an estimated cost of Rs395.49 million. Kalam, Madain, Kaghan, Naran, Mahodhand, Malam Jabba in Upper Swat, Naran, Kaghan, Siran and Upper Manshera besides Parachinar in Kurram tribal district are ideally suited for trout farming.
The climate condition of upper Malakand and Hazara divisions are most suitable for trout farming where plenty of cold water reservoirs including River Kunhar and Swat are available to bolster sea food production. Work on these mega projects had been started in 2019-20 and ETVP would be completed during current fiscal year while PMAGDP would continue till 2023.
The official said Rs203 million has been spent on trout village’s project by June last while Rs192.949 million allocated for current fiscal year. Similarly, Rs233 million has been utilized on development of cold water fisheries project by June 2021 while Rs75 million set aside for the current financial year.
Under trout villages’ project, he said a model hatchery and research centre would be constructed at Swat. He said about 200 beneficiaries were registered for establishment of trout fish farms in KP. Fifty percent each share-cost would be contributed by the KP Government and beneficiaries for establishment of trout farms in the province.
At least 35 marla land with facilities of inflow and outflow of water, approach road and electricity is mandatory for farmers to take full advantage of the government’s package. He said an ideal hatchery should have 600,000 fish seeds for proper breeding.
Known as King of Swat, KP is ideal suited for commercial breeding of ‘Masher’ to increase revenue and income of fish farmers.
Being a national fish of Pakistan, masher is found in rivers Swat, Pajkora, Indus, Siran and Kunhar, however the water pollution, habitat loss and illegal fishing was making negative effects on its population.
The official said a new project for conservation and development of ‘Mahsher fish’ was being launched with an estimated cost of Rs100 million including an allocation of Rs30 million for Annual Development Programme 2021-22 to increase its production and ensure conservation on modern lines. Masher hatchery has been established at Thana Malakand district where its breeding on commercial basis has been started.
Following completion of these mega projects, the official said KP would become a hub of trout and masher fish besides its exports to Middle East, Afghanistan, Central Asian States and others international markets would be significantly bolstered.