AwF-Nepal Phase II project final report received
Category : Updates
Highlights of the report include:
Within the limited project funding of US$15,290 (+Overhead), a total of 90 fish ponds were constructed in two years’ time to benefit more than 400 direct family members. Although the target was to reach 100, it is still 90% successful which is quite high.
This shows project incurred only US$170 per pond or per family which is considerably low compared to the investment made by any international partners for other development projects. Although, production of fish is quite low because ponds constructed by the farmers were quite small and pond inputs were very minimal as farmers were recommended to feed on-farm crop byproducts and to apply manures/urines of the animals owned by themselves. However, due to its low-cost in nature and better uses of locally available inputs, fish farming has been sustainable. For instance, among the 70 farmers, in the Phase I (2008-2010) of the project 90% farmers are still growing fish; 2 years after the project period ended. Only seven farmers stopped so far due to various reasons such as lack of fingerlings on time, lack of care, water leakage problem, and water shortages and so on. However, they are still keeping the pond and thinking that they can stock fish again. More importantly, within the two year’s period the output i.e. fish production was nearly 6 tons which is seven times more than the total production from the Phase I (Final Report AwF-Nepal (Bhujel et al., 2010). Similarly, the estimated value of total fish produced during this phase stands at around US$12,000, which is more than six times higher than from the Phase I, and is approximately 80% of the cost recovered within the project period. Considering the high rate of sustainability, even if farmers do not expand, AwF Nepal project shows its worth is a lot more in the long run in terms of monitory value. More importantly, health benefits of fish consumption and social benefits of women as well as men working together in groups and cooperatives are tremendous. At the same time, results from Gorkha has shown that if farmers could increase their fish ponds to 100m2 or bigger and add more inputs i.e. stock more fingerlings and add some supplementary feed at least once a day, would be adequate to earn a reasonable income to come out of the poverty line from fish pond alone. Therefore, it is recommended to establish a small-scale fish hatchery to supply adequate fingerlings even for new farmers. Similarly, a model fish feed making machine using locally available materials such as combination of a plastic or aluminum drum for mixing and a mincer or pelletizer for making pellets which has been developed and used at IAAS, Nepal.