BHOPAL: In a first, the state farmers will begin pearl farming to supplement their income. Krishi Vigyan Kendra has started a novel project to supplement farmers’ income through pearl farming in Madhya Pradesh. The Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) has selected Chandangaon for the pilot project in Chhindwara district, which has started to work.
Programme incharge Chanchal Bhargava said seeds have been released in the ponds in Chandangaon. It takes about 10 months to produce a pearl. “About 20-30,000 pearl oysters can be reared per hectare,” he added.
Dr Surendra Pannase of Krishi Vigyan Kendra said programme assistant Chanchal Bhargava has received training in fresh water pearl farming from Jaipur. Pearl farming requires a pond – measuring 50 X 50 square feet. State government has built several such ponds under Balram Talab Yojana, which can also be used for pearl farming, said another scientist from KVK.
Hyderabad and several cities in south India have been doing it for a long time. In Madhya Pradesh, government is trying to offer another alternative means of income to farmers through pearl farming.
The KVK in Chandangaon is also in the process of preparing pearl seeds that will be distributed to farmers later. KVK officials said that government will provide subsidy to farmers to promote pearl farming besides helping them in marketing their products. “We’ll focus on quality and hope to reach out to foreign markets,” an official said.
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