Centre to invest Rs 25,000 crore in fisheries in 3-5 years
As a part of Blue Revolution project, the Union government has planned to invest Rs. 25,000 crore (US$ 3.57 billion) in different segments of the fisheries sector in the next three to five years.
"We are looking at three types of support by way of infrastructure development in harbours; extending subsidies to joint venture projects to set up hatcheries/nurseries/quarantine facilities as well as viability gap funding to establish processing plants, and cold chain facilities at harvest or landing sites, said Ms. Rajni Sekhri Sibal, Secretary, Department of Fisheries.
This amount will be disbursed under different schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Sampada Yojana and World Bank schemes. The government has already started a fishery infrastructure development fund with Rs. 7,300 crores (US$ 1.04 billion), which is an interest subvention scheme, she said.
The contribution of inland fisheries is only 50 per cent of the total fish production. Thus, the government plans to expand the potential by covering reservoirs, wetlands, rivers and streams in different parts of the country.
As per the statement given by Ms. Sibal, "We are planning to promote cold water fisheries in the entire Himalayan region to rear high-value fish varieties. We will soon sign an MoU with Iceland and Denmark to breed trout fish, a high-value variety. We have already signed an MoU with Norway in this regard."
As the contribution of inland water fisheries is low, the government intends to double its production to six million tonnes from the present three million tonnes in next three to four years. Quality of seeds and feeds, aquatic animal health laboratories and quarantine facilities are needed to meet the intended target.
The maintenance of Indian seafood is a major issue which require focus on ensuring the quality, disease control and traceability of marine food products from "farm to fork" or from "catch to consumer".
The government will soon introduce a set of new protocols that will be focused on preparation of feed and certification of seed. This will help double Indian seafood exports from over Rs 47,000 crore (US$ 6.72 billion) in five years.
This will ensure that "our waters are utilised by our own fishermen."
There is a clear definition in the bill regarding the size of fish to be caught. The Bill is expected to be introduced in Parliament by the end of this year. Proposals are also there to issue unique license numbers and insurance for fishing trawlers and crew by levying a small fee. The revenue from this will be used for safety measures of the fishing community.
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.