Staff Reporter

Rs.149 crore earmarked exclusively for their welfare

Plan to develop seven fish seed farms in the district

Tirupati: After Rythu Mitra and Gopala Mitra for farmers and cattle rearers respectively, it’s now time for fishermen to form themselves into groups under ‘Matsya Mitra’. Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Mandali Buddha Prasad has appealed to fishermen to come under a common platform to make the most of the schemes announced for their benefit.

Mr. Prasad was here on Friday to lay the foundation stone for a ‘Fisheries Complex’ near Narasimha Theertham, at the same site in the heart of the city where the dilapidated building of the Fisheries Department exists. Apart from the department’s office, a commercial complex will also be set up in the Rs.70 lakh building to make it self-reliant. Fish markets scattered all over the city are expected to be shifted to this block. Elaborating on the steps being taken by the Government to benefit 90 lakh fishermen in the State, the Minister said that Rs.149 crore had been earmarked exclusively for their welfare. He appealed to fisherwomen to form themselves into groups similar to DWCRA women for getting low-interest loans under Indira Kranti Patham .

Boats and nets

Mr. Prasad pointed out that Rs.6.25 lakh had been released to provide boats and fishing nets to 220 units represented by fishermen community at 25 per cent subsidy in Chittoor district alone. Steps would be taken to develop the seven fish seed farms in the district, he added. District Minister Galla Arunakumari (Medical Education and Health Insurance) explained the project to get artificial insemination done on 20,000 milch cattle by spending Rs.650 on each cow/buffalo. “The project would prove to be a boon to the cattle rearers when the target of 1 lakh litres of milk a year is achieved, that translates to a revenue of Rs.35 crore,” she observed.

MLAs M.Venkataramana and K.Prabhakar Reddy, Commissioner of Fisheries S.Narasimha Rao, APCOB General Manager Prakash Rao, Deputy Director and Assistant Director of Fisheries, B.Jagannatha Reddy and K.Gurrappa were also present on the occasion.