Fisheries and aquaculture play, either directly or indirectly, an essential role in the livelihoods of millions of people around the world. Being born in an urban environment, BRICKCELLS TECHNOLOGIES team had very remote idea of rural economy which is primarily based on the rural farmers in my district as well as the state as a whole.
Mr. Sunandan got an opportunity to visit several rural areas in several districts of West Bengal for attending EYE CHECK-UP CAMPS as an Optometrist.
He met several farmers; and had a look at their financial conditions especially when they used to come for eye check up. They, were mostly marginal farmers,at the bottom of the pyramid. They were eagerly seeking an alternative source of income ; they were endowed with very small piece of land and pond. The revenue earning out of the small land was not sufficient for their livelihood and the ponds were being used for house hold purpose;few of them casually growing fishes for their domestic needs.
In the year 2012, he visited the Largest Fish Seed Market of Asia,the Rajendrapur Seed Market at Naihati,North 24 Parganas which is very close to Kolkata(35 to 40 km). The market became operational at 2.00 a.m everyday. Several fish farmers are engaged to buy fish seed from various districts and various states. After that amazing experience ,he went to Central Inland Freshwater Aquaculture(CIFA), Kalyani center to gather some basic information on fresh water aquaculture. According to them , if a farmer follows the scientific method, he can earn better revenue as compared to the same area of agricultural land.
Thereafter he made a team of three people including him and started an experimental venture on fish farming in very small leased pond measuring 1 bigha. They faced several challenges during the gestation period of one year, like poor growth rate, disease affected fishes, continuous fish mortality,sudden mass mortality of fishes and ultimately all effort went in vein,they lost money but got the real experience of marginal fish farmer who have gone through the same kind of problems.
After the traumatic experience, they started to meet several marginal,small,medium and leading fish farmers to gather information from their experience and their point of view. The outcome of the survey was not very encouraging for them , because the same kind of challenges they are facing for last few decades ; especially the marginal and small fish farmers. Some of them wanted to quit from aquaculture.
It was a great challenge for them to find out a suitable and sustainable solution. They started to work on it. Ultimately got the solution in the the year 2016.They founded BRICKCELLS TECHNOLOGIES PRIVATE LIMITED, founder members are Mr. Tushar Kanti Basu, Mr. Sandipan Mukherjee and myself Sunandan Mukherjee. They named the product HUMIC FEED-O-FERT, the product can solve most of the problems faced by the fish farmers.
In the year 2017 we are being incubated by IIMCIP.
Currently they are working for scaling up the project to make this opportunity available for maximum number of rural fish farmers.
The problems they are solving
1. Pond pollution with dissolved harmful gases
2. Poor growth rate of growing fishes
3. Periodic fish mortality due to lower dissolved oxygen
4. Sudden mass mortality due to algal crash
5. Harmful algal bloom
6. Scarcity of live natural food base
7. Fish mortality due to diseas
8. Higher cost of production due to use of excessive supplementary costly feed.