Settler uses mountain water to rear catfish

Date:

JERTEH: Instead of rearing catfish in a river, a farmer in Felda Selasih here, is cultivating them in an oil palm plantation with water from a nearby mountain.

Mukhtar shows his three-month-old catfish that is already marketable.

Following feedback from his customers, Mukhtar Ismail, 64, claimed the use of mountain stream water was really quite special, stating that the fish flesh was firmer, tasted sweeter, and did not have a fishy smell.

According to him, Felda settlers normally breed cattle and goats on their oil palm plantations to generate additional income, however, he chose to raise catfish as it is easy to care for, resilient and always in high demand.

“Coincidentally, my oil palm plantation has a creek, so with a capital of RM5,000 in 2014, I started the project to deepen the creek to place a fish cage that could hold water from Gunung Tebu.

“Mountain stream water is ideal for catfish as it is cleaner and free from any contamination,” he told Bernama here today, adding that the water channel is provided by the Farmers’ Organisation Board (LPP) as there is also a vegetable farm nearby that uses mountain water for crops.
 
Depending on the amount of catfish seeds and the weather, the father of nine, who currently owns over 11,000 catfish, said he can harvest adult catfish three or four times every year.

He explained fresh catfish is sold at RM7 per kilogramme, while cleaned catfish, which is usually sold wholesale to restaurant and eatery operators around the district, is priced at RM8 per kilogramme.

According to him, he could earn about RM3,000 per month from this enterprise.

Elaborating further, Mukhtar stated he used boiled chicken or cow intestines as feeds instead of the standard bran sold in the market to keep the catfish’s quality up.

 “It is a tiring and tedious job as it takes a long time to boil intestines. But it is also one of the factors that give a different taste compared to other catfish,” he pointed out.

Mukthar’s catfish farm caught the attention of the Agriculture, Food Industry, Plantation, Commodity and Rural Development Committee chairman Dr Azman Ibrahim, who visited the farm recently and promised to channel necessary assistance from time to time. − BERNAMA
 
TAG: Felda, catfish, Gunung Tebu, Terengganu, mountain water

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