The Telegraph
Sunday , September 30 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cold guard against fishy smell

Ranchi, Sept. 29: The foul, gut wrenching, nauseating smell that has become synonymous with fish markets of the state capital may soon become a thing of the past.

Mangalore-based College of Fisheries today unveiled a vending and display unit at the Jharkhand Matsya Mahotsav — being held at the Bidhan Sabha ground in Ranchi — in what it claimed could be a one-stop solution to the fishy smell. Chief minister Arjun Munda inaugurated the two-day fair in the afternoon.

The vending and display unit, which has been developed under the all India research project on post-harvest technology, is basically a covered ice box that has three or four shelves, depending upon the requirement of the seller.

The unit is complete with bins that are supposed to collect disposable wastes left after dressing of fishes, a seat for the vendor and a canopy to protect him from the sun and rain.

The standard model will be of 175-litre capacity, which will roughly be able to store around a quintal of fish and keep them fresh for at least a week, claimed Lakshmimesh, a teacher at the College of Fisheries.

“It (the unit) was displayed at the fair today. It may be produced commercially if we get a good response,” said C.V. Raju, a College of Fisheries teacher.

He added that though the unit had been priced at Rs 20,000 as of now, the cost was expected to go down significantly if production was started on a mass scale.

“We hope that the unit will be popular with vendors if the state government helps us promote it properly,” Raju said.

Earlier during the inauguration, chief minister Munda said fish production in Jharkhand had gone up significantly.

The aim, he said addressing a gathering, was not only to become self reliant but also to be able to reach such a situation wherein Jharkhand could sell its surplus to other states of the country.

Quoting figures, he said the fish production in the state had been really poor when it was formed. The state now produced around 9,200 metric tonnes of fishes, which was still less than the requirement of 1.15 lakh metric tonnes.

The fair, which is an attempt by the state to boost mariculture, has seen more than 50 stalls being set up in it that deals with various services and products related to fishery and animal husbandry.

“Farmers who produce fish also need to till their fields and take care of their livestock. The stalls have been arranged keeping in view their interests and needs,” said Ashish Kumar, assistant director of the state fisheries department.

Deputy director of the department Manoj Kumar added that since the ponds and rivers of the state dried up often, they were encouraging fish farming in abandoned mines and the use of cage-farming in dams.