Pashu Sandesh, 28th May 2020
The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) aims to enhance fish production to 220 lakh metric tons by 2024-25 from 137.58 lakh metric tons in 2018-19 at an average annual growth rate of about 9%. The Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Giriraj Singh, on 26th May, said that the ambitious scheme will result in doubling export earnings to Rs.1,00,000 crore and generate about 55 lakh direct and indirect employment opportunities in fisheries sector over a period of next five years. Dedicating the PMMSY to fishers, fish farmers, fish workers, fish vendors and other stakeholders associated with the fisheries sector, Shri Giriraj Singh said that insurance coverage for fishing vessels is being introduced for the first time.
Addressing a press conference on the “PMMSY - A scheme to bring about Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of fisheries sector in India”, approved by the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 20th May 2020, Giriraj Singh said that the scheme envisages an estimated investment of Rs. 20,050 crores comprising Central share of Rs. 9,407 crore, State share of Rs 4,880 crore and Beneficiaries contribution of Rs. 5,763 crore. He added that the PMMSY will be implemented over a period of 5 years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25 in all States/Union Territories.
Giriraj Singh said that under the PMMSY thrust will be given towards enhancement of fish production and productivity, quality, sustainability, technology infusion, post-harvest infrastructure, modernisation and strengthening of the value chain, standards and traceability in fisheries sector from ‘catch to consumer’, establishing a robust fisheries management framework, fishers’ welfare, enhancement of fisheries export competitiveness. He further mentioned that PMMSY will create a conducive environment for private sector participation, development of entrepreneurship, business models, promotion of ease of doing business, innovations and innovative project activities including start-ups, incubators etc. in the fisheries sector. The Minister further mentioned that PMMSY being a fisher centric umbrella scheme, fishers, fish farmers, fish workers and fish vendors are the key stakeholders in the developmental activities envisaged and enhancement of their socio-economic status is one the core objectives of this scheme.
The Fisheries Minister said that about 42% of the total estimated investment of the PMMSY is earmarked for the creation and up gradation of fisheries infrastructure facilities. Focus areas include Fishing Harbours and Landing Centers, Post-harvest and Cold Chain Infrastructure, Fish Markets and Marketing Infrastructure, Integrated Modern Coastal Fishing Villages and Development of Deep-sea Fishing. Besides creating critical fisheries infrastructure by attracting private investments in the fisheries sector, the scheme plans to reduce post-harvest losses from the present high of 25% to about 10% by modernizing and strengthening the value chain. Under the Swath Sagar plan, activities envisaged with a view to modernizing the fisheries sector include promotion of Bio-toilets, Insurance coverage for fishing vessels, Fisheries Management Plans, E-Trading/Marketing, Fishers and resources survey and creation of National IT-based databases.
Underlining the need to enhance domestic fish consumption with corresponding health benefits, the Minister said that the Government will register “Sagar Mitra” and encourage the formation of Fish Farmers Producer Organizations (FFPOs) to help achieve the PMMSY goals. Youth will be engaged in fisheries extension by the creation of 3477 Sagar Mitras in coastal fisher villages. A large number of Fisheries Extension Services Centers will be set up in private space to create job opportunities for young professionals.
The scheme will also focus on several new activities and areas such as Traceability, Certification and Accreditation, Aquaculture in saline/alkaline areas, Genetic improvement programmes and Nucleus Breeding Centres, Fisheries and Aquaculture start-ups, promotional activities for fish consumption, branding, GI in fish, Integrated Aqua parks, Integrated coastal fishing villages development, State-of-art wholesale fish markets, Aquatic Referral Laboratories, Aquaculture Extension Services, Biofloc, support for new/up-gradation of fishing boats, disease diagnostic and quality testing labs, Organic Aquaculture Promotion and Certification and Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) devices.
Giriraj Singh said that the PMMSY provides thrust for infusing new and emerging technologies like Re-circulatory Aquaculture Systems, Biofloc, Aquaponics, Cage Cultivation etc. to enhance production and productivity, productive utilization of wastelands and water for Aquaculture. He added that some activities like Mariculture, Seaweed cultivation and Ornamental Fisheries having the potential to generate huge employment especially for rural women will be promoted.
Stressing on attaining self-sufficiency in the availability of quality seed at an affordable price, Shri Giriraj Singh said that the scheme will result in increasing aquaculture average productivity to 5 tons per hectare from the current national average of 3 tons per hectare. This will be achieved through the promotion of high-value species, establishing a national network of Brood Banks for all commercially important species, Genetic improvement and establishing Nucleus Breeding Centers for self-reliance in Shrimp Broodstock, accreditation of Brood banks, Hatcheries, Farms and also addressing diseases, antibiotics and residues issues, aquatic health management. These steps are likely to ensure quality, higher productivity, improve export competitiveness and fetch higher prices to fishers and farmers.
Constituting about 7.73% of the global fish production and export earnings of Rs.46,589 Crores (2018-19), India today has attained the status of the second largest aquaculture and 4th largest fish exporting nation in the world. Shri Giriraj Singh that the country has high potentiality to attain the 1st highest fishing producing and exporting nation in the world in the coming years, and his Ministry is committed to taking the fisheries sector to newer heights. The Minister said that the Fisheries sector has shown impressive growth in terms of fish production and export earnings during the past five years. The sector recorded an Average Annual Growth Rate of 10.88% during 2014-15 to 2018-19, 7.53% average annual growth in fish production and 9.71% average annual growth in export earnings, with 18% share in agricultural exports. He further added that the Gross Value Added (GVA) of Fisheries sector in the national economy during 2018-19 stood at Rs 2,12,915 crores which constituted 1.24% of the total National GVA and 7.28% share of Agricultural GVA.
Foreseeing the huge scope for development of fisheries, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in December 2014, had called for “a revolution” in the Fisheries sector and named it as “Blue Revolution”. The Union Government has taken several initiatives to harness the potential of the Fisheries sector in a sustainable and responsible manner towards ushering the Blue Revolution in Fisheries as envisioned by the Prime Minister. Some of the major reforms and steps were taken by the Union Government include (i) Creation of a separate Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying in the Union Government, (ii) Setting up a new and dedicated Department of Fisheries with independent administrative structure, (iii) Implementation of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries during the period 2015-16 to 2019-20 with a central outlay of Rs. 3,000 crore, (iv) Creation of Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) during 2018-19 with a fund size of Rs. 7,522.48 crore, and (v) Launching of PMMSY with an investment of Rs. 20,050 crore, the scheme with highest ever investment for the fisheries sector.
The Ministers of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Sanjiv Kumar Baliyan and Pratap Chandra Sarangi, and Secretary, Department of Fisheries, Dr Rajeev Ranjan, were present during the press conference. On the occasion, the dignitaries released a booklet on the PMMSY.