The variation in the geographical altitude and latitude of Nepal has provided opportunities to raise coldwater as well as warm water fish species in mountain, hills and terai region. Integrated farming systems can include aquaculture as an important component. In mountain and hilly regions where cold and fresh water is available rainbow trout is the main fish species cultivated whereas carps (Chinese carp and common carp), tilapia and pangasius are cultivated in the inner terai and terai region.
In Nepal around 12,000 metric tonnes of pellet feed is used in aquaculture, of which about one third is imported from India and the rest is manufactured locally. Although floating pellet is more expensive than other types of feed, it is used for trout and pangasius culture. Around 60% of carps are fed with pellets (floating and sinking) as well as with homemade feed (50% rice polish and 50% oilcakes) as an artificial feed. Around 40% of carp farmers, mainly small-scale, do not use any types of artificial feed but rely upon natural productivity of ponds, although they may use fertiliser (organic as well as chemical) to stimulate production of natural feeds. These farmers usually serve local markets and often have low productivity and undersized fish. Those that use supplementary or commercial feeds produce a higher yield per unit area.
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