20 new fish farms will soon be established in Balkh province, an official says.
Abdul Fahim Jabbari, head of the National Agriculture Project at the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation in the north of the country, said that each of these farms, which is planned to be built on one acre each, will have the capacity to raise 3 to 4 thousand fish per season.
Jabari adds that the cost of each farm is 750,000 afghanis, and will dramatically increase fish production in Balkh.
He says that fish farming in Balkh will have good results, which is why they have started the construction of 20 fish farms.
“We have 20 farms under our support, each of which is 120 by 18 meters and has the capacity to raise 3 to 4 thousand fish,” said Jabari.
Jabari said these farms would be operational in two months.
Most of the farms are located in Dehdadi and Nahr-e-Seraj districts of Balkh province.
Mohammad Nabi, owner of a fish farm in Dehdadi district, said that 11 years ago, at the cost of 5,000 Afghanis, he built a fish farm and now has 10,000 fish.
He says he earns 6 hundred thousand afghanis a year from the sale of these fish.
“Someone encouraged me to build a farm, and promised to give me fish from the agriculture department and build the pool, but that man disappered. Then I myself sent a person to Jalalabad city of Nangarhar province and brought fishes back. The first time I brought them, each fish was like a matchstick but now each of them has reached half a kilo,” said Nabi.
Mohammad Wakil Niazi, provincial director of the agriculture department, said there are already 46 fish farms in Balkh, with between 11 and 13 tons of fish entering the market each year from those farms.
He said the fish supplied to the markets from those farms have a fixed price and that each kilogram of fish is sold for 400 afghanis.
“We have about 11 to 13 tons of fish being supplied to the markets in a year from these farms,” said Niazi.
Regarding the demand for fish, Niazi said: "With the standard pools built by the Ministry of Agriculture's National Agricultural and Livestock project, we hope to meet a large part of the market's needs.”
Statistics from the Balkh Department of Agriculture and Irrigation show that out of 46 fish farms, ten farms were built by the Ministry of Agriculture's National Agriculture and Livestock Project, with four to five people working in each of these farms.