India looks to boost “Blue Economy” by focusing on fisheries for higher economic growth

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Fish displayed at a supermarket in the Thai capital of Bangkok. Photo/IAC

The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) aims to enhance fish production to 220 lakh metric tons by 2024-25 from 137.58 lakh metric tons in 2018-19 at an average annual growth rate of about 9 per cent.

The Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Shri Giriraj Singh, today said the ambitious scheme will result in doubling export earnings to Rs.1,00,000 crore and generate about 55 lakhs direct and indirect employment opportunities in fisheries sector over a period of next five years.

Dedicating the PMMSY to fishers, fish farmers, fish workers, fish vendors and other stakeholders associated with the fisheries sector, Shri Giriraj Singh said that insurance coverage for fishing vessels is being introduced for the first time.

Addressing a press conference on the “PMMSY – A scheme to bring about Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of fisheries sector in India”, approved by the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 20th May, 2020, Shri Giriraj Singh said that the scheme envisages an estimated investment of Rs. 20,050 crores comprising Central share of Rs. 9,407 crore, State share of Rs 4,880 crore and Beneficiaries contribution of Rs. 5,763 crore. He added that the PMMSY will be implemented over a period of 5 years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25 in all States/Union Territories.

The government also aims to register 3,477 “Sagar Mitra” in coastal fisher villages and encourage Fish Farmers Producer Organizations (FFPOs).

The Fisheries Minister said that about 42 per cent of the total estimated investment of the PMMSY is earmarked for creation and upgradation of fisheries infrastructure facilities. Focus areas include Fishing Harbours and Landing Centers, Post-harvest and Cold Chain Infrastructure, Fish Markets and Marketing Infrastructure, Integrated Modern Coastal Fishing Villages and Development of Deep-sea Fishing. Constituting about 7.73 per cent of the global fish production and export earnings of Rs.46,589 Crores (2018-19), India today has attained the status of the second largest aquaculture and 4th largest fish exporting nation in the world.

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