Oyster farming turns border village in Samba into treasure trove - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Oyster farming turns border village in Samba into treasure trove

Mar 29, 2024 05:54 AM IST

The mussels are transported by train from Kolkata to Jammu, and then ferried to Chillyari on the India-Pakistan international border, where 65-year-old Desraj, a retired J&K police sub-inspector, and 67-year-old Yashpaul, a retired official from geology and mining department, get down to rearing them in a oxygenated pond

Once caught in border cross-fire between India and Pakistan, a village in Samba district is en-route to becoming a treasure trove of pure pearls. Two friends in their 60s have joined to undertake pearl farming in Chillyari village, located on the zero line. This is a first-of-its-kind initiative in Jammu and Kashmir.

The farm in Chillyari village located on the zero line in Samba district (HT Photo)
The farm in Chillyari village located on the zero line in Samba district (HT Photo)

The mussels are transported by train from Kolkata to Jammu, and then ferried to Chillyari on the India-Pakistan international border, where 65-year-old Desraj, a retired J&K police sub-inspector, and 67-year-old Yashpaul, a retired official from geology and mining department, get down to rearing them in a oxygenated pond.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

“My old friend from Parjani village was the first to conceive the idea and he convinced me to go for it,” said Yashpaul.

“It all started when Desraj saw videos of pearl farming on YouTube. We then went to Chandigarh and Haryana to see pearl farming,” he said.

The duo tied up with a Noida based company. “We started three years ago. There was a break of around six months due to unforeseen events. Therefore, we are expecting our first yield by September or October this year,” Yashpaul added.

He said that the Noida-based firm, which provided technical know-how to the two partners, would purchase the produce from them. The two friends would not be producing round shaped pearls alone, but also cultured pearls in the shape of Lord Ganesha, Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva.

Pearls are biological gems produced within the soft tissue in the shell fish. “We recently checked one mussel and found that the cultured pearl was taking shape of Lord Ganesha. These cultured pearls depend upon the feed and allied inputs,” said Yashpaul.

The two friends have so far invested around 35 lakh and put around 1.4 lakh mussels into the pond.

The shell fish are tied in nets and are kept hanging in a pond or river. The mussels are fed with algae, cow dung and groundnuts for a year before pearls get ready for the harvest.

The initiative was appreciated by Samba deputy magistrate Abhishek Sharma. “The initiative is first of its kind in J&K. I hope that their initiative transforms into a successful business and become a model for others to emulate,” he said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    A principal correspondent, Ravi Krishnan Khajuria is the bureau chief at Jammu. He covers politics, defence, crime, health and civic issues for Jammu city.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, April 21, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On