RRFC registers Rs 4.5m earnings

Pokhara, May 17:

The Rupatal Renovation and Fishery Cooperative (RRFC) has earned Rs 4.5 million this year from the fish it sold.

The cooperative has been formed to conserve the lake and generate income from the lake. It had earned Rs 9,00,000 in the first year, Rs 1.3 million in the second, Rs 2.4 millions in the third and Rs 3.3 millions in the fourth year, said Lekhnath Dhakal, president of the cooperative. This year the cooperatives has produced 45 tonnes of fish, which were sold at Rs 100 per kg. From this year, the cooperatives has begun selling dried-fish at Rs 700 per kg.

The cooperative has 426 shareholders, all of whom are locals. The lake situated at the border of Lekhnath and Rupakot is spread in over 135 hectares of land and is 16-km east from Pokhara.

There are 11 different kinds of improved fish breeds including silver carps, big head carps, rohu, naini and bhakur in the Rupa lake, which has a wetland area also that houses 21 kinds of natural fish, 17 species of birds and 23 species of wetland plant species.

The lake is considered important from the tourist and biodiversity point of view. The cooperative has cleaned almost 80 per cent of the unwanted growth of plants like water hyacinth in the lake.

Jeevan Thapa, manager of the cooperative, said it plans to construct a fish aquarium and put in record the biodiversity available in the area. “It has already constructed a corridor for cycling, horse riding and trekking in around four-km section of the nine-km circumference of the lake,” he said, adding that the cooperative has focused on biodiversity conservation along with income generation.

“The cooperative also plans to construct a 500-metre long dam for the conservation of the lake,” Thapa added.

The income generated by the cooperative is also shared with the local schools and community forests and used in other development and social works at the local level. The cooperative is going to donate Rs 2,000 each to 19 schools situated in the area; Rs 4,000 each to 17 community forests and scholarships to 40 poor and hardworking students.