Hon’ble MoS, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Govt. of India, Shri Pratap Chandra Sarangi, addressed the fisheries and aquaculture industry on the current sce-nario of the fisheries industry. He further highlighted the best practices involved and ex-ecuted by the Union Government in the revival of the economy in this sector. Shri Sarangi said, “The package of 20,000 crores, covered under the scheme PMMSY of Union Govt will help the Industry of Fisheries and Aquaculture, inside-out. A lot of sub schemes are covered under the umbrella of PMMSY Scheme. This scheme will make the fisheries in-dustry self reliant, matching the idea of Hon’ble PM of India, Shri Narendra modi.” He fur-ther added that not only the sector will experience an upthrust but also willl generate em-ployment to more than 50 lac people across the nation.
This discussion was held in a webinar was organised by the ASSOCHAM on “Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry in COVID Times: Challenges and a Roadmap Ahead on July 16, 2020. Along with the presence of Hon’ble MoS, Fisheries, Shri Pratap Chandra Sa-rangi as a Chief Guest. The digital session has gained more value and insights with the presence of Hon’ble Minister, Environment and Forests, Excise and Fisheries, Govt of Assam, Shri Parimal Suklabaidya and Hon’ble Minister of Fisheries, Govt of Mizoram Shri K. Lalrinliana as a Guest of Honour.
On behalf of ASSOCHAM, Shri Deepak Sood, Secretary-General, ASSOCHAM, wel-comed all the panelists which were present from across the nation and outside. In the presence of the Hon’ble Union MoS Fisheries Shri Sarangi, Hon’ble Minister, Fisher-ies, Govt of Assam, Shri Parimal Suklabaidya and Hon’ble Minister of Fisheries, Govt of Mizoram, Shri K. Lalrinliana, Shri Deepak launched a knowledge report prepared by ASSOCHAM with the help of the financial assistance received from Research and De-velopment Fund of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
Hon’ble Minister of Fisheries, Govt of Mizoram, Shri K. Lalrinliana said that state of Mi-zoram welcomes the scheme by Union government and is keen to start implementation. Further, adding to this, he said “Mizoram is lacking certain inputs to increase per area production such as fingerlings and fish feed, which are mostly imported from other states. Mizoram is producing around 50% of its fish requirement and state has been importing from neighbouring states as well as from neighbouring countries - Myanmar and Bangla-desh. state is also slowly moving in exploring innovative practices such as Crab Farming, Ornamental fish farming, breeding of indigenous aquatic species etc”. Commenting on PMMSY he said, “The supply of inputs in the PMMSY Scheme leans towards first year inputs for the new ponds and new rearing area construction. He would like to propose supply of inputs for already existing fish pond. Majority of the farmers are poor and are Below Poverty Line (BPL) families who cannot afford to purchase the necessary inputs from their own pockets. Therefore, special consideration for supply of inputs to the exist-ing water area, will greatly increase the fish production of the state.”
Representing Assam, Hon’ble Minister, Fisheries, Govt of Assam, Shri Parimal Suklabaidya said that state has taken aggressive implementation of various schemes to support the sector to provide the livelihood. He said there is no shortage of water bodies and spaces in Assam however until few years back, 1/3 of fish were brought from outside before our govt. He further stated that “under leadership of the CM started a scheme : ‘Ghare Ghare Pukhuri Ghare Ghare Maach’, which translates every house to have a pond, state took on this mission. The loan was arranged from NABARD and as of today state has developed 12000 ponds and production has begun. The scheme supported meeting the demand for the local consumption of the state during Covid times as well as neighouring states of Meghalaya and Mizoram were supplied the stocks.” He concluded his message with conveying a thanks to Union Government for launching PMMSY scheme.
Giving more technical insight about the PMMSY scheme, Hon’ble Secretary, Depart-ment of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Govt of India, Dr Rajeev Ranjan, IAS said, “The scheme was started in May 2020 with an array of 100 diverse activities. With the budget of Rs. 20,050 crore, it is by far the largest investment in the fisheries sector. The strategy along with the concerted and collaborative efforts be-tween the stakeholders and government is required in order to achieve ambitious targets under the scheme. These targets are Rs. 1,00,000 crore fisheries export, additional 70 lakh tonnes fish production, and generation of 55 lakh employment in the next five years among the others.”
The state partners of this digital session are Government of Karnataka and Government of Andhra Pradesh. Further, the session is supported by NABARD and Gujarat State Bio-technology Mission and MPEDA.
The Marine Products Exports Development Authority, is also helping to revive the sector by taking various timely measures. In such a difficult time, it is the prime concern of MPE-DA to provide unique solutions to the problems faced by the Marine Industry bodies, en-suring smooth and proper operation of the sector along with maintaining quality and im-plemented various programs to meet the required concerns regarding food safety.” said Chairman, MPEDA, Shri K S Srinivas, IAS
Shri Subrata Mandal, Chief General Manager, NABARD, West Bengal, said “The Fish-eries and Aquaculture sector is moderately impacted in COVID time, majorly due to the migration of the labour and the other problems faced by the fishers at individual level. I am sure that the sector will rise again and more growth will be seen this time from past. The Govt of India is constantly putting a lot of efforts in coping up with such difficult situa-tion. Further, at NABARD, we are also dedicated to help each and every fisher by sup-porting them financially.
On the panelist Dr Worawit Wanchana, Policy and Program Coordinator, The Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), Bankok, Thailand, thanked the AS-SOCHAM for inviting him in this webinar, he shared the role of SEAFDEC which is an in-ternal governmental organization established since 1967. According to Dr Wanchana, “There is moderate impact in the fresh food products, the domestic consumption is re-duced, demand from the factories were decreased and regarding the ready to eat prod-ucts the impact is low as it also impacted the chilled and frozen products like salmon and shrimps. The orders from the importing countries cancelled or postponed. Also commer-cial fisheries being unable to conduct fishing activities due to social distancing measures and prohibition of foreign crew to enter other countries due to lockdown measures.”
The other speakers in the session were from a diverse background across the nation, they discussed and bring out all the possible ways to cope up with the current situation faced by the fisheries and aquaculture industry inside the nation. The other eminent speakers of the session, representing the interest of industry bodies were Shri Jagdish Fofandi, National President, Seafood Exporters Association of India & MD Deepmala Ma-rine Exports, Shri Rajamanohar Somasundaram, Co-founder & CEO, Aqua Connect, Dr Manoj M Sharma, Director, Mayank Aquaculture, Pvt. Ltd., Prof Baskaran Manimaran, Founder Vice-Chancellor (Retd.), Tamil Nadu Fisheries University and Dr PE Vijay Anand, Senior Consultant, Global Emerging, Markets Development US Soybean Export Council.The session was be attended by major industry bodies of Fisheries and Aquaculture In-dustry/ leading industrialists, exporters, educationists, bureaucrats, FPOs, and other in-dustry professionals across the nation.