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Nepal: Fish farming gaining popularity in Ilam by BIPLAV BHATTARAI May 19,2017   |  Source: Kathmandu Post

Bijay Shrestha of Danabari, Ilam spends his entire day looking after his fish farm that is spread over 15 ropanis. The workday lasts from dawn to dusk even with his family helping him, but it is a financially rewarding occupation too. Shrestha’s farm produces 2.5 tonnes of fish annually, and the entire harvest is sold within the district. The fish produced on his farm fetches up to Rs400 per kilo, and it is sold instantly in nearby areas. “Finding a market is not a problem at all,” said Shrestha. “Demand for locally grown fresh fish is very high.” Shrestha went into aquaculture five years ago; and at that time, he faced many difficulties due to lack of technical knowledge.

There was no technical support from the concerned government agencies like the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO). So Shrestha formed a farmers’ group and started promoting commercial farming in the district. Gradually, many farmers followed Shrestha’s lead, and Ilam district is seeing a new investment wave in warm water aquaculture due to high rates of return on the investment and massive demand for local fish in the district.

Although Ilam locals have been rearing fish for their own consumption for a long time, commercial farming started only recently. Tilak Singh Fago of

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2014)