Initially, they will come up in select cities under PPP mode
Development of fishing harbours in the State and building of fishery infrastructure including fish landing centres, drying yards and imparting of training in technology up-gradation for boosting fish production are some of the priorities of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), its Chief Executive Officer M.V. Rao who is also the Director-General of National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD) said.
A nearly Rs.300 crore action plan is currently under implementation for the building of infrastructure, develop harbours and model fish markets in the State.
The NFDB is in the process of establishing model fish markets in PPP mode. To start with it will be implemented in a few cities and expanded to other cities later. Apart from enhancing productivity and production developing infrastructure for processing, value addition and marketing is an important element of fishery promotion. To reach consumers with quality fish, establishment of hygienic wholesale markets, fish dressing centres and retail markets are thrust areas of the board, he maintained.
The fishing harbours and landing centres are the initial places of fish handling. Due to poor sanitary and hygienic conditions as well as temperature prevailing at these centres, there is substantial reduction in quality of the fish landed. Provision of clean and sanitary building with ancillary facilities like potable water and ice, fly-proofing arrangements and chilled storage is an essential requirement which NFDB is committed to address to maintain quality, Mr. Rao said. Speaking to The Hindu here Mr. Rao said that availability of quality seed of cultivable fish and shrimp species has always been a limiting factor for intensification of its production and also for coverage of additional area proposed to be developed under aquaculture. Requirement of quality fingerlings of 80-100 mm size culture is a prerequisite for fisheries development which the NFDB is promoting among the fish farmers by extending incentives and subsidies etc. There are a number of schemes for setting up fish food outlets and promoting fish consumption through Fish Festivals.
Mr. Rao whose pet subject is rural development believes that fish production in reservoirs both large, medium and small boosts rural economy. Considering the fish production potentiality of the reservoirs in India, moderate investments can yield larger quantities of fish besides increasing the employment opportunities for the rural population. Priority is being given to undertaking fish fingerling stocking in all the small, medium and large reservoirs of the country and training the fishermen in reservoir fisheries management. Training forms an important element of NFDB mandate.
He said that ornamental fish breeding is also being encouraged at the back yards of households in addition to establishing medium and integrated ornamental fish culture units to meet its fast growing domestic and international market.