National Fish Development Board (NFDB) is ready to help Thanjavur Municipality to establish a wholesale fish market in Thanjavur town said P. Krishnaiah, Chief Executive Officer of NFDB here on Wednesday.

Speaking at a national seminar for farmers on inland fishing organised by the Tamil Nadu fisheries department and NFDB, Mr. Krishnaiah said that the municipality can manage the fish market with guidelines from the fisheries department. NFDB is ready to pay 90 per cent of the project cost as subsidy. Fish farmers can auction their produce at the market.

NFDB would also like to establish aqua laboratories to help fish farmers. They can conduct water test, soil test, feed test and disease test among other tests at the laboratory. The NFDB was established in 2006 under the Ministry of Agriculture and has been functioning from its headquarters in Hyderabad . The main function of NFDB is to promote fisheries production, processing and marketing. Management practices play an important role in increasing fish production. Farmers who rear inland fish should choose good fish seeds, maintain the farm in hygienic way, use quality feed and should know disease control.

With a view of giving good seeds to farmers, NFDB is providing 90 per cent subsidy for modernising government hatcheries, repair and renovate them. It provides subsidy to State governments. It also helps in putting up quality feed mills. Pangacious species is good for inland fishing. But initially the Central government did not approve this species for inland fishing. After NFDB took up the matter with the government, Pangacious variety is now approved by the Central government and many farmers rear it in Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Krishnaiah said. NFDB can also arrange for exchange of visits by farmers to other states. By this, farmers can learn from areas where inland fishing is done successfully.

C.Muthukumarasamy, secretary, Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries, Government of Tamil Nadu, urged the farmers to go for allied activities like dairy and fishing.

After giving much fillip to dairy development in the state, milk production has increased and is doing better in Tamil Nadu than in other states. Similarly fisheries, particularly inland fishing, can be of much help to farmers.

Many farmers have taken to inland fishing and are making profits in Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur district is ideally suited for inland fishing.

He said that the Tamil Nadu government would try to utilise the facilities provided by NFDB for promoting inland fishing. Three hundredfarmers will be selected from Thanjavur district for exchange of visits to other states.

NFDB has agreed to bear the expenses for the visit, he added.

A. S. Sukumaran, Commissioner for Fisheries, said that 3.7 lakh acres in the state has the potential to develop inland fishing. Of this inland fishing is now done only on 1.65 lakh hectares. The state produces 1.9 lakh tonnes of inland fishes per year.

The State government gives a subsidy of 20 per cent of the total project cost for developing tank for inland fishing on one acre. Again for rearing fishes in them, it gives a subsidy of 20 per cent of the total expenses.

M.S.Shanmugham, District Collector, presided over the meeting.

An exhibition was organised on the occasion. A booklet on guidelines of inland fishing was also released at the meeting. Gopinath, Executive director of NFDB, M. Subburaj, Joint director of Fisheries, Nagapattinam Nandisha, Dean of Fisheries College, Tuticorin, participated in the meeting.