A pre-demonstration training programme on ‘Pen aquaculture in beels’ was organized at Barjhora, Goalpara
district, Assam on 21.06.18 by Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Central Inland Fisheries Research
Institute (ICAR-CIFRI), Regional Centre, Guwahati in collaboration with Ajagar Social Circle, Agia,
Goalpara and Barjong Beel Fishery Committee (BFC), Barjhora under TSP programme of ICAR-CIFRI.
The programme was organized under the overall guidance of Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI,
Barrackpore with an objective of enhancing fish yield and revenue from Barjong beel through demonstration
of pen aquaculture technology developed by ICAR-CIFRI.
The meeting was presided over by Shri Hem Chandra Rabha, President, BFC. Shri Narendra Rabha,
General Secretary, BFC welcomed the invitees and participants. He informed that the Barjong beel (35 ha)
has been acting as a source of fish to the surrounding 8 villages that constitute the BFC and all community
members (belonging to Rabha tribe) catch fish for their own consumption. Dr. B. K. Bhattacharjya, Head
(Acting), ICAR-CIFRI Regional Centre, Guwahati explained the background and objective of the training
programme. He mentioned that fish yield in most beels of Assam was decreasing despite having high
potential. These water resources do not need much input because they are highly productive (fertile) in
nature. Conservation and optimal utilization of beel fisheries for enhancing their fish yield is one of the
mandates of ICAR-CIFRI as also improving livelihood and income of beel fishers. Pen aquaculture
technology developed by the Centre based on years of trials and demonstration in the beels of Assam has the
potential to improve fish yield with a high benefit-cost ratio. He informed the participants that the Institute
has recently commercialized CIFRI-HDPE Pen, which is ready-to-use pen structure that can be installed to
cover approximately 0.25 ha area to undertake fish culture.
Shri Bimal Sarma, DFDO, Goalpara district urged the farmers to take the benefit of pen aquaculture
demonstration that will be undertaken by ICAR-CIFRI RC, Guwahati and cautioned that success will
depend on continuing with pen culture even after government support is withdrawn. He also assured all
possible assistance for successful implementation of the programme by ICAR-CIFRI. Shri Ashok Nath,
Secretary, Ajagar Social Circle, Agia; Shri Debananda Choudhury, President of Rubber Producers’ Society,
Assam and officials from Rubber Board Regional Office, Agia (Bimal Nath and Rajib Basumatary) also
assured assistance to ICAR-CIFRI and BFC whenever asked.
Many farmers present in the programme raised issues of fish escapement from the beel during floods
and requested various government agencies to put a bund/dyke around the beel. After detailed discussion, all
the members of Barjong Beel Fishery Committee representing 8 villages supported the initiative of ICAR-
CIFRI under the Tribal Sub-Plan of ICAR-CIFRI.
Scientists from ICAR-CIFRI (Dr. D. Debnath, Shri A.K. Yadav & Simanku Borah) interacted with
the local fishers/ tribal community members (& 90 no.) on different aspects of pen aquaculture technology in
the training programme.