Rithson R Marak, a retired government employee from Nengmandalgre village of Meghalaya is the first to introduce fish farming in his village. He started constructing a fish pond measuring 0.3 hectares in the year 1983 to earn some extra bucks.
Little did he know that this small fish pond will multiply one day and become a source of inspiration for many in the state.
Marak took interest in fish farming after seeing his father feed fish after long days in the field. It took him three years to construct a fish pond and by the year 1986, he began fish farming and became the first person in his village to take up the initiative.
Marak retired in the year 2018 from his government service as a peon in the State Education Department and now owns three fish farms measuring 0.6 hectares. He now works with state-sponsored initiatives which include Meghalaya State Aquaculture Mission (MSAM) and Blue Revolution.
Under the MSAM, local fish farmers get the benefit of various schemes that enable them to construct new ponds, fish sanctuaries, enhance their value chain and build infrastructure like fish mills, FRP Hatcheries, eco-hatcheries, etc.
His efforts have been even appreciated by Deputy Commissioner of East Garo Hills, Swapnil Tembe who took to Facebook and wrote, “Rithson R Marak is inspiring locals to start fish farming.”
Marak now sells 300-400 kilograms of fish in a year and earns between Rs 1-1.5 lakh and more depending on the yield. Now, he is considered the pioneer of fish farming in his village and taking inspiration from him, locals and people from surrounding areas have also taken up fish farming.
Photo credit: Deputy Commissioner – East Garo Hills