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					marketing and also facilitating the establishment of honey processing plants at the
local level to add more value to raw honey at the local level. The beekeepers
association and state level federation will link the beekeepers and other value chain
actors with banks for meeting credit requirements. The project will develop a website
www.litchihoney.com to promote the beekeeping sub-sector of the region and policy
advocacy to facilitate an enabling environment in the sub-sector – activities include
insurance of bee colonies, issue related to taxation on honey in Bihar.

d. Fishery

Fishery is the practice of cultivation of different breeds of fish in the organized and
productive manner. There are various methods of fish cultivation such as three layer
culture fishery and capture fishery. Three layer culture fishery is where three different
varieties of fish are nurtured in the same pond in three different layers e.g.,
combination of Catla, Rohu & Mrigal. Catla feeds in the top layer, Rohu feeds in the
middle layer and Mrigal in the bottom layer of the water body. Capture fishery is the
fish which is captured from the natural source of water, which is not nurtured by the
human being. This is practiced in the natural sources of big water bodies beyond the
managing capacity of human being. Due to abundance of water bodies such as
streams of big rivers, riverines and big rivers in the operational districts, the fishing
communities are involved in the capture fishery. Network of rivers provides ample
ground for capture fisheries and flood often adds to fish production with bringing in
of new water and fish seeds and feeds to rivers and water bodies. However, the
capture fishery has different complexities due to middleman involvement and hence
the underdevelopment of the sector exists. In case of the three layer culture fishery;
water bodies such as ponds, tanks, chaurs and swampy areas are available but the
under utilization of these water bodies can be attributed to the ownership issues (lies
with other departments such as National Highway, Railway & Fishery department)
and absence of renovation and excavation works of these water bodies. The strategic
involvement of middleman, low level of awareness, local politics, less support of the
concerned line department, low productivity, inadequate availability of certified seed,
low seed replacement rate, poor post harvest management facilities, inadequate credit
facilities and poor technological status further demotes the sector by providing lack of
ownership to the real fishing community.

Community Institution Arrangement

The SHG households involved in the fishery activities will be identified to form a
fishery producers’ group at the village level. Required capacities will be enhanced by
providing technical training on fisheries through experienced experts of the fishery
from these producers’ group. Financial support will be provided in the form of credit
through SHGs to undertake the fishery activity. More emphasis will be on three layer
culture fishery. As per the State Government’s norm; fishery co-operative will be
formed at the block level ranging from 7-250 members in a fishery co-operative. The
members of the producers’ group at the village level will be members of the fishery
co-operative and will have one share per member. This Co-operative will be
registered under Bihar Self Supporting Co-operative Act 1996. As per the norm of the
Government, the Co-operative will be the legal entity to take land on lease or for
settlement. These co-operatives will further distribute these water bodies to its
members at the rate of 0.5 to 1 acre per member either to the fishery producers’ group



PIP Annexure                                                             Page 28 of 82
or individual basis as per the availability and prioritization. However, trained
Fisherwomen Self Help Group (SHG) can take up pond on lease for undertaking
pisciculture. These fisherwomen (members of the SHGs) should be trained (training,
demonstration and exposure) through experts of fishery. There are numerous private
water bodies available with private individual as well as the Panchayat. These water
bodies can also be taken on lease with convergence with the Panchayat by the Village
Organization and give it to the fishery producers’ group or individual on lease. The
water bodies can also be taken on lease from the private individual by the Village
Organization and distribute to the individual SHG members through fishery
producers’ group involved in fishery. After leasing and distribution; quality
fingerlings procurement, fish seed procurement & distribution, handholding
intercultural operation will be done through co-operative in order to monitor the entire
activities from input supply till harvest. For the marketing of the harvested fish; a
federation will be formed at the district level of all the fishery co-operatives formed in
the project, other interested and existing co-operative will be allowed to become a
member of the federation. This federation will look at the marketing of the fish,
market yard development, provision of ice box cycle for selling fish in local villages
or GPs or blocks, cold storage establishment, etc. The selling of fish can be done from
different points starting from water body, fishery producers’ group and co-operative;
but the information and communication technology systems will be used at the
federation level to know the availability of the input requirement (fingerlings, feed,
training, etc.) of the fishery at different points such as individual, producers’ group
and co-operative and also output (availability of fish) while dealing with the market.
The district level fishery federation will also involve in the policy advocacy to keep
the interest of the fishery sector and its continuous improvement. This three level
community institution development will be the modalities for the project
implementation in the fishery.

e. Makhana

In Madhubani and Purnea, the project will focus on Makhana sector, as these districts
are highly potential. This is a Gorgon nut or Fox nut, an aquatic crop, commonly
known as Makhana (Euryale ferox Salibs) of the family Nymphaeaceae is a unique
highly nutritious, fully organic non-cereal food, which is extensively grown in the
stagnant water of wetlands, tanks, ponds, lakes and ditches. The Makhana plant is a
large prickly acaulescent herb with floating leaves. The plant grows in standing
shallow water (1.5 – 5.0 feet water depth) and has rhizomatous stem. The rhizomes
remain deeply rooted in the sediment by means of thick fleshy roots in clusters. The
huge, thorny elliptic or orbicular mature leaves are green above and red/purple
beneath.

The leftover seeds germinate for the next crop cycle / season during October-
December. Replantation is done manually if there is dense or sparse growth of plants.
The tender plant is protected from pests, mostly through manually netting or roping of
the plant or application of firewood ash. Of late, the Makhana growers have started
using pesticides as well, if the pests menace is not controlled by the manual or natural
methods. Normally, the growers would utilize his plant buds in other ponds owned by
him or the same pond for re-plantation. In rare cases, it is sold or purchased. The
indigenous boat made of banana trunk or earthen pot are used for pest treatment and
other related operations. The decomposition of organic matter; such as decayed plants


PIP Annexure                                                              Page 29 of 82
and supplements such as dung/manure acts as fertilizing agents for the crop.
Flowering starts in April-May. The Makhana growers in the state are from the mallah
/ machhawara / kewat caste with fishing and Makhana cultivation as their major
economic activity. It is their traditional occupation, inherited from their forefathers for
generations. There are around 1.8 lakhs mallah with a population of around 8 lakhs
households in the state. Division of labour is categorical among them such as men
folk cultivating Makhana crop, which included sowing (if required), transplanting and
harvesting guris. The trading of guris and Makhana larvae is also handled by men.
These men folk also engage in fishing work as wage labourers. The women folk, on
the other hand, vend fish; fry Makhana seeds for popping (which is shared by men
also). Although the mallah community is the traditional grower of Makhana, other
castes have also moved into the business of Makhana cultivation and created their
own niches in this market. They cultivate Makhana either in their own ponds or sub-
leased Government ponds by engaging the services of mallah as wage earners.

Community Institution Arrangement

The SHG households (either mallah / machhwara / kewat caste or involved in the
Makhana activity) will be identified and a Makhana Producers’ Group will be formed.
The training and capacity building programmes will be organized on importance of
soil & water testing, pond preparation, nutrient management, organic farming,
irrigation mechanism, crop diagnosis, farm inputs requirement, harvesting techniques,
database management of related Makhana activity and its collective procurement for
better pricing. The members of the producers’ group at the village level will be
members of the co-operative and will have one share per member. This Co-operative
will be registered under Bihar Self Supporting Co-operative Act 1996. As per the
norm of the Government, the Co-operative will be the legal entity to take land on
lease or for settlement. These co-operatives will further distribute these water bodies
to its members at the rate of 0.5 acre per member either to the Makhana producers’
group or individual basis as per the availability and prioritization. There are numerous
private water bodies available with private individual as well as the Panchayat. These
water bodies can also be taken on lease with convergence with the Panchayat by the
Village Organization and give it to the Makhana producers’ group or individual on
lease. The water bodies can also be taken on lease from the private individual by the
Village Organization and distribute to the individual SHG members through Makhana
producers’ group involved in Makhana activity. Month wise training programmes on
the entire package of practices such as cleaning of pond, manuring & weeding, soil &
water testing, better seed variety & its adoption, seed sowing, transplanting, pest-
disease control, water testing for acidity / alkalinity content, thorny orbicular leaf
treatment, leaf & bud treatment, flowering time management, fruit formation
treatment, harvesting schedule, storage, initial processing from guri to Makhana,
packaging, collection of Makhana seed, dehiscence, field residual control, quality of
Makhana and grading will be given from the Co-operative to the members of the
Makhana producers’ group. The harvested guri will be processed to Makhana pop
and will be procured at the block procurement centre with a buy back arrangement
with the private players available in the open market. The buy back arrangement also
provided with free logistics and spot payment. The block procurement centre will
come up to one stop facility to function as an extension service provider for Makhana.
The collective input procurement and supply to the Makhana farmer through the
Makhana co-operative and producers’ group along with timely counseling and



PIP Annexure                                                               Page 30 of 82

				
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