India launches Rs 20,050-crore scheme for fisheries sector along with several sops for Bihar

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

Prime Minister Narendra Modi  launched Rs 20,050 crore Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) to boost production and exports in the fisheries sector as part of the government’s aim to double farmers’ income. The Prime Minister also launched several other initiatives in the fisheries and animal husbandry sectors in Bihar, scheduled for assembly polls in October-November, 2020.

The prime minister tweeted that the PMMSY will “transform” the fisheries sector and add strength to the efforts of building an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. “The advantages of PMMSY include: Address critical gaps in fisheries sector. Infuse the sector with latest technology, focus on value addition. Upgradation of critical infrastructure. Boost welfare of those associated with fishing. Employment creation,” he added.

The investment of Rs 20,050 crore under PMMSY is the highest ever in the fisheries sector, the PMO said. Out of this, an investment of about Rs 12,340 crore is proposed for beneficiary-oriented activities in marine, inland fisheries and aquaculture and about Rs 7,710 crore investment for fisheries infrastructure.

The PMMSY aims at enhancing fish production by an additional 70 lakh tonne by 2024-25, increasing fisheries export earnings to Rs 1 lakh crore by 2024-25.

The PM also launched a mobile app e-Gopala that will provide solutions to farmers on livestock related issues. He further inaugurated a Semen Station with state-of-the-art facilities in Purnea, Bihar with an investment of Rs 84.27 crore on 75 acres of land made available by the Bihar government.

The projects in Bihar is expected to have an investment outlay of Rs 1,390 crore with the central share of Rs 535 crore and the additional fish production target pegged at three lakh tonnes. During the current fiscal, the Union government has sanctioned Bihar’s proposal costing Rs 107 crore.

Plans to establish a fish brood bank at Sitamarhi and of aquatic disease referral laboratory at Kishanganj, both in Bihar, for which assistance has been provided under the PMMSY is also on the cards. Among other launches by Modi is the comprehensive fish production technology centre at Dr Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University in Pusa in Bihar.

The PMMSY aims to achieve fisheries export earnings to Rs 1,00,000 crore by 2024-25, doubling of incomes of fishers and fish farmers, reducing post-harvest losses from 20-25 per cent to about 10 per cent and generation of additional 55 lakh direct and indirect gainful employment opportunities in fisheries sector and allied activities.

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