Credit: Indian fish farmers and G. Venkata Raju (India)
Catfish (Pangasius) has been introduced a few years back as an alternative species in the brackish water shrimp ponds due to its survival and fast growing nature in the hard pond environmental conditions. Fry level seed has been brought from Bangladesh and successfully reared to marketable size. Initially, farm gate price was Rs. 40 – 50 / kg against the production cost of Rs. 30 / kg. Due to comparatively good margins, many farmers started catfish mono-culture in freshwater carp ponds and some farmers have intensified with production as high as 60 ton / ha. At one point of time, markets were flooded with catfish stocks bringing down the price to Rs. 30 / kg. Further consumers are not interested in catfish (compared to carp fish) due to high oil content. Soya bean cake is the chief feed Ingredient used in the feed component.