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Rs 100-Crore Project Planned for Fisheries

20 June 2012

The government is planning to spend 100 crore for promoting inland fisheries and aquaculture in the country. But it will support and finance only those fishery projects which would have a complete value chain.

"We are looking at setting up pilot projects in each state. On successful completion, we can replicate the model in various parts of the country," said a senior official from the animal husbandry and fisheries department. These projects should have their own ecosystem with integrated demand and supply chain, reports EconomicTimes.

"Besides a reservoir for breeding fish, these projects should have an ice factory, transport facilities and cold storage for freezing and processing fish. These projects should also be linked to the markets," he said.

India, which produces around 8.5 million tonne of fish, is aiming for an output of 10 million tonne in next couple of years. The government is also introducing a new technique called cage culture to improve productivity.

In the aquaculture production system, fish are held in floating net pens and allows water to pass freely between the fish and the pond permitting water exchange and waste removal into the surrounding water.

"We are introducing cage culture in a big way in reservoirs to enhance productivity. Cage culture improves output to five tonne a hectare as against 25 kg per hectare in traditional fishing. We have identified 15-20 reservoirs in the country to pilot this technique of fishing," the official said.

India is the second largest fish producer in the world after China and accounts for nearly six per cent of global fish production of about 180 million tonne. Aquaculture accounts for 30 per cent while the remaining 70 per cent is being contributed by captured fish.

"The fisheries industry is growing at five per cent. We expect our export to reach around 15,000 crore in next two years from the current level of 13,000 crore per annum," the official said.

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