Nurul Haque received the gold medal for successfully producing Mola fish fingerlings at a hatchery, after collecting the fish species from natural water resources and different waterbodies. Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque handed him the award a few days back. It was Nurul’s fifth national award.
Dear readers, directly or indirectly, I am involved with Nurul’s fish farming initiatives for nearly 30 years and witnessed his work very closely.
Last month, I went to visit his fish farm and hatchery in Mymensingh. I visited Nurul’s farm on several occasions before.
Nurul, who obtained his honours degree in Mathematics from Ananda Mohan College, started his fish farm back in the 80s.
Nurul was inspired by ‘Hakim Ali’s Fish Farm,’ a documentary I made for Bangladesh Television to encourage people in fish farming.
But, unfortunately, his family did not accept his choice to become a fish farmer.
“My father asked me, why be a fisherman instead of a mathematician?” Nurul said.
He then stopped his studies, borrowed Tk 30,000 (USD 315) from a local moneylender, took lease of couple of ponds and started fish farming.
As a result, his father threw him out of home.
“I used to sleep at a nearby madrasa then. I met my mother and had some meal, when my father was out of home for his daily prayers,” Nurul said.
This is how farming was seen during the 80s, while farm-related works were considered as undignified jobs back then.
Nurul said he would wait at a tea stall while his staff did the trading. If not, people from his village would mock him.
After overcoming diversified setbacks and obstacles, when Nurul was inching towards economic prosperity he found his social status gradually upgrading and family relations getting stronger.
While cultivating fish, Nurul noticed the shortage of quality fingerlings. He later established a hatchery at Char Puliyamari village in Mymensingh’s Shambhuganj to overcome this crisis.
At first, he produced the fingerlings of carp species and within five years he started producing fingerlings of Magur and Shing and afterwards Pabda in 2001.
He became commercially successful in producing fingerlings of Koi, Kholshe and Boal fish in 2002. He collects indigenous species of fish from the Haor region in Netrakona, the Brahmaputra river, and the Jamuna in Jamalpur.
In 2010, he produced male fingerlings from Tilapia super male.
In 2015, he started artificial breeding of Gaang Magur and did the same with Mola fish in 2018.
In 2020, Nurul started working with brood fish.
Nurul continued to learn and apply tricks in artificial breeding all by reading books.
Today, Nurul, who was thrown out of his home, is now the hero of his family and the pride of Bangladesh. His financial stability is quite unimaginable. This man has properties worth millions of dollars made from fish farming.
Nurul employs hundreds of youths at his fish farms and hatcheries. Many fish farmers are now following his footsteps.
A silver revolution has taken place across the country over the last few decades. Alongside meeting our protein demand, six percent of our export earnings are coming from fish and fish-related products.
The mathematics graduate turned into a fish breeder and became owner of Brahmaputra Fish Seed Hatchery.
Nurul’s contribution is praiseworthy as he not only manages to breed the fish, but distributes the fingerlings to the fish farmers for commercial cultivation.
Nurul’s achievement is undeniable. I believe, if this work continues, future Bangladesh will be illuminated by the silver light.