Catfish farming booms in Bogor
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Bogor regency has emerged as the largest supplier of freshwater fish to Greater Jakarta, with the largest amount of produce exported being catfish.
The regency’s agriculture and animal husbandry agency said that around 40 tons of catfish was produced from the regency’s four districts that have become the center of freshwater fish, namely Ciseeng, Gunung Sindur, Parung and Kemang. “Bogor regency supplies 60 percent of the total demand across Greater Jakarta, which reaches around 60 to 70 tons per day. Many farmers who previously produced rice are now joining the fish farming business,” agency head Soetrisno said in a recent interview.
He cited the example of Ciseeng district, which now had 400 groups of freshwater farmers, with most of them specializing in catfish breeding.
Tapping into the lucrative business, the administration built fishponds in the four districts and granted each farmer Rp 10 million (US$1,058) start-up capital, as well as other supporting facilities.
A catfish farmer from Ciseeng, Mad Iwan, said that 200 hectares of land that had previously been used for rice farming in Babakan village had been turned into fishponds because of the greater income the residents could earn – up to Rp 800,000 from catfish breeding from one fishpond, while from cultivating fish food, they could get Rp 2 million from a pond. “There are almost no residents in Ciseeng who are unemployed, as most of them are busy with their fishponds. And every day, there is at least one farmer who is harvesting catfish,” he said. “But the problem now is fish food, as the price is too high, around Rp 200,000 for one sack. We hope the government can provide subsidies for the food.”
Awaluddin, head of the husbandry and fishery unit at Ciseeng’s district office, said that catfish farmers sometimes found it difficult to meet the high demand. “The farmers are expected to open new fishponds to cater the needs of the ubiquitous street food vendors who serve
catfish,” he said.
— JP/Theresia Sufa