India should be the largest fish producer country in the world and that should be the target of all farmers, scientists and other stakeholders, said Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Minister of State for Fisheries, Government of India while addressing to all participants in a webinar. The webinar was organized by Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI), Barrackpore, Kolkata on the occasion of National Fish Farmers’ Day today.
Highlighting the Central government’s programs and schemes to boost production and productivity, the Union Minister said, ‘Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) is a revolutionary programme launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister. We have thousands of water bodies, rivers, lakes and reservoirs which are left unused. The ratio of fish production in reservoirs is low. We plan to promote cage culture in reservoirs”.
Aside from that, the Minister said, “The bigger challenge lies in the implementation of the programs. The challenge is how to double the income of the farmers. We have to develop the domestic market and increase export also. All stakeholders need to work in this regard”.
Dr Joykrushna Jena, DDG, (Fisheries), ICAR, in his welcome address told about the ambitious targets set by the government to double the fish production as well as export revenue in the country. He also dwelt upon the contributions made by the scientist community in developing different fish breeds and increasing the production in the country in the last five decades.
He also added, “More new species need to be added our fish basket. It will not only increase the income of the farmers but also ensure the nutritional security of common people.”
Dr B K Dash who had convened the webinar reiterated the initiatives taken by the Central institute in developing wetlands and reservoirs and handholding the local fishermen how to use the latest technologies to increase the fish production and their income.
Farmers from all over India had participated in this conference. K N Rishi, a farmer from UP who had participated in this webinar drew the attention of the Minister about the need of setting up of Aqua One Centers in different districts to provide technical support to farmers at the time of disease outbreak. He further said that due to lack of knowledge about the diseases, farmers are bearing heavy losses.
Among others, Dr. Gopal Krishna, VC & Director, CIFE, Dr. Ravishankar C N, Director, CIFT, Dr. A Gopalakrishna, Director, CMFRI, Dr. A P Sharma, Registrar, G B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Dr. Dilip Kumar, Former VC and Director, CIFE, other scientists, entrepreneurs, and farmers were present on this occasion.