Raja Syed Rather
Ganderbal, Oct 19: Fish farming is experiencing remarkable growth in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal, with over 30 percent of the district’s fish farms now operated by women, officials said.
These women are not only securing their livelihoods but also empowering the community, they added.
Officials from the Fisheries Department said that these women entrepreneurs played a proactive role in utilising government initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) and the recent comprehensive agricultural development plan.
Through these programmes, the female beneficiaries receive a 60 percent subsidy on the total project cost.
“We are actively encouraging and supporting these women through such programmes, enabling them to embrace fish culture and attain economic self-sufficiency,” an officer from the fisheries department said.
One such entrepreneur, Shagufta Akhtar, previously a software engineer, shared her success story. She is successfully operating her fish farm for the past two years, with substantial government subsidies. “This business supports our families, and government assistance has been instrumental in building our enterprise,” she said.
Recognising the profitability of fish farming, Akhtar said young individuals should explore alternative paths and start their own businesses.
Another entrepreneur, Kulsuma Majeed, said she discovered these schemes through social media and effortlessly acquired the resources needed to establish her fish farm. “They (department) provided funding, training and all the support I required,” she said.
A satisfied customer, Aamir Javid, said he frequents the Margund Fish Farm, and enjoys fish twice a week as a healthy alternative to meat and other foods. He believes these farms offer high-quality fish and sees it as a sustainable livelihood opportunity and a means to support the community.
Assistant Director of Fisheries said that they provide women with home-based job opportunities, enabling them to be financially self-reliant.