The first-ever ‘Local Fish Week’ cum Mobile Fish Marketing was inaugurated by Deputy Commissioner Joseph Pauline Kamson at Mini-secretariat campus in Ukhrul town here on Tuesday.
The four-day-long observance is being organised by Ukhrul-based Lansem FPO (Farmers Producer Organization), a consortium of local farmers, with the support of NABARD through UDCRMS, Ukhrul, and the same will continue till 13 November.
As part of the event, DC Kamson also flagged off a mobile marketing vehicle in the presence of Chief Executive Officer, ADC Ukhrul Polly Makan, District Project Director, UDRCRMS Ukhrul Lily Rose Jajo, CEO Lansem FPO Ningreingam K Haoshingnao, Manager, Women Institutions, UDCRMS Vima Vashum and others.
Through mobile marketing, the local fish is made available to the public at Rs. 320 per kg.
Speaking during the inaugural function, Kamson stressed that the prospect of fish farming is very promising in the district as it has different tasty and healthful species of fish, unlike those imported from outside.
“Like locally grown vegetables, fish from local farms has a very high demand in the market. People want to buy such fishes because they have a special taste,” he said.
He maintained that health-wise, fish is a better option than meats, because fish is protein rich but is low in cholesterol. “It is good for health,” he continued, while urging the public to develop the habit of fish consumption towards promoting a healthy society.
In her speech, DPD Lily Jajo lauded Lansem FPO for the initiative to help promote production of locally grown fish. “Lansem FPO has also made possible availability of local fish at a reasonable price in the local market,” she stated and exuded hope that the move would go a long way in encouraging higher production of local varieties of fish to meet the demands of both local and outside markets.
According to CEO Lansem FPO Ningreingam, the observance is being participated by dozens of farmers drawn 13 peripheral villages of Ukhrul district headquarters including Khangkhui Khullen, Khangkhui Khunou, Landang, Shirui, Sihai Khullen, Sihai Khunou, Talui, Lungshang, Shangching and Shangshak Phunghon.
He disclosed that the farmers’ organisation has set a target to sell a maximum of 2 metric tones of local fish produced by the farmers during the fish week observance.
He said that Lansem FPO was established as a Cooperative Society under Manipur Societies Registration Act under the aegis of NABARD Ukhrul and UDCRMS Ukhrul back in 2019.
“The concept of FPO is to train the member farmers on the lines of shifting their system of cultivation from subsistence farming to commercial farming,” he said, adding that all the members are farmers who have been producing different crops on their own long before this organisation was formed.
“During the recent lockdown over Covid-19, we carried out sales of vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage at different localities of Ukhrul town to the tune of 1-2 metric tonnes of broccoli and cauliflower at Rs 50 and 70 per kg and over 5 metric tonnes of cabbage at Rs 10-15 per kg,” Ningreingam related.
He said that the organisation is also hopeful of increasing production volume and that it is in touch with agencies like MOMA, NERAMAC and private marketing agencies for marketing.