Assam on the brink of becoming self-sufficient in fish production
Assam is on the brink of becoming self-sufficient in fish production.
The state fisheries department on Friday revealed that there is only a 0.7 percent gap between the fish production of 3.93 lakh metric tonnes and demand of 4.00 lakh metric tonnes.
“With schemes like Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana (RKVY), Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY), Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) and ‘Ghare Ghare Pukhuri Ghare Ghare Maach’ going on in full swing, the state is on the threshold of becoming self sufficient in fish production in the near future,” said fisheries development officer, Pratul Deka.
Fish production in the state has gone up from 2.94 lakh metric tonnes in 2016-17 to 3.93 lakh metric tonnes in 2020-21, registering an increase of 33.67 percent.
“From a yawning demand-supply gap of 42 per cent in 2015-16, it has come down to mere 0.7 lakh metric tonnes in 2020-2021,” Deka said.
Per capita fish consumption has risen from 8.5 kg per annum to 11.88 kg per annum.
Fish seed production too has increased from 5,678 million to 9,886 million in the same corresponding period, witnessing a rise of 74.11 percent.
As many as 12,610 individual ponds covering 1,523.74 hectares, 4,029 community ponds spread over 468.1 hectare, 1,824 rearing tanks covering 229.94 hectares, 4,204 beel fisheries spread over 763.87 hectares, renovation of 995 existing ponds covering 259.64 hectares and 1,420 integrated fish farming covering 629.9 hectare have come up in the last five years.
More than 2,000 hectares have been brought under new ponds in comparison to only 900 hectares prior to 2016-17.
Besides, 521 fish seed hatcheries have been built under different schemes for the period 2016-17 to June 2021-2022 while 20 fish feed mills have come up during the same period.
Deka said that 13 Recirculatory Aquaculture Systems (RAS) have been introduced, besides 38 batteries of modular cages in several beels.
As many as 87,000 applications for KCCs (Kisan Credit Cards) have been submitted to the banks out of which 8,500 have been sanctioned so far.
There are altogether 22 Fish Producers’ Organisations (FPO) and 13 Farmers’ Producers Companies (FPC).
Sources said that livelihood support has been extended to 20,000 fishermen with central share being Rs 3,000 and beneficiaries’ share Rs 1,500.
A draft State Fishery Policy is being finalized as well, which will boost the fisheries sector in a big way.
In the past couple of years, 99 fisheries development officers, 32 junior engineers, 98 fishery demonstrators, 30 junior assistants and 11 Grade IV staff have been recruited.
The department has got a shot in the arm with the transfer of administrative control of revenue from the revenue department together with administrative control of FISHFED from the cooperative department.
It may be recalled that the Assam fisheries department had bagged four national awards – Best state, best district (Nagaon), best government organisation (FISHFED) and the best fish farmer on World Fisheries Day in New Delhi on November 21, 2020.
(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)
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