Doimukh- Tana Hari, the owner of ‘’Tana hari fish Farm’’, Emchi under Doimukh Sub-Division, do not possess a degree or some special talents or power- he is a simple farmer. His journey started from being a contractor to an Anchal Samity Member and finally, being a self sufficient entrepreneur and a farmer now. According to him “Govt jobs are limited, so instead of being an employee, we should try to become an employer by creating employment.”
He owns an area of land about 13 hectares, of which about 7 hectares is used as fish pond area. He started his venture on fish farming in 2009. Initially, he availed some capital from National Fishery Development Board and some funds from various schemes, but ‘it was meager’, he told. When asked what motivated him to start a fish farm he replied “before the area was a paddy field; but the profitability was low”; so, he decided to start fish farming- which he thought would be profitable, and “he was not wrong”. He said fish pond is ’10 times more profitable’ then the paddy field.
With his dedicated endeavor, he is able to fulfill the demands of about 7000-10000 people of the nearby areas. He told that there is high demand for fish in the market, ‘’I don’t even need to go the market for selling the fish; the market comes to me’’ he said. In fact, sometimes, it becomes difficult for him to fulfill the market demand. Also, during COVID-19 lockdown period his farm produced more than 10 Metric tons of fish through which he earned in lakhs.
However, “everything was not green” he told. He confronted some challenges and problems. One of the major problems was the lack of easy availability of investment capital during the initial day. Then, there are the issues with the fish fingerlings, sometimes the seedlings that is bought from Assam are of poor quality resulting into losses.
To add, now a days people are health conscious and asks for organic products. Though, he also prefers chemical free fish farming, but the gestation period is long, he said in sober tone.
However, he is never bogged down by these problems. Instead, he is trying to come up with innovative ideas under the guidance of the District Fisheries Development Officer shri Kipa Taja and also trying to diversify his activities.
To address the issue of fingerlings, he is starting a fish hatchery to make good quality fish seedlings easily available under the technical guidance of DFDO office Yupia. Also, he is working on a cold storage to increase the shelf life of the fish, so that the losses are minimized.
Optimistic Hari also disclosed his visions and the future plans. As he has available land, he is planning to start ecotourism activities. Already, his farm is becoming one of the favorite picnic spot and ecotourism activities like Doimukh Festival have been organized there. In addition, he has started a recreational park in the same vicinity, where activities like boating and angling in the fish pond is carried out- which earns him good revenue annually.
Today, 12 people are working under him, in the farm. In our Arunachal Pradesh where most of us are running madly to get a Govt job; the story of entrepreneur cum farmer like Tana Haji shines like a ray of hope and an epitome of “Atmanihbharta’ worth emulating for both the present and the future generations of our state. Our people needs to learn from such examples and thread their own path towards self employment and self sufficiency; only then, our cherished dream of ‘Aatmanirbhar bharat’ would be realized.
( This write up has been contributed by Nyatum Doke, District Information & Public Relations Officer who is presently undergoing training at department of IPR, Papum Pare District, Yupia )