Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, September, 10 launched the PM Matsya Sampada Yojana with an estimated investment of ₹20,050 crores for the sustainable development of the fisheries sector in three-four years.
Launching the scheme via video-conferencing, he inaugurated the e-Gopala app that will facilitate the provision of a marketplace for livestock and also launched several other initiatives in fisheries and animal husbandry sectors.
PM Modi stated that this was the biggest investment made in the fisheries sector since independence, adding that the objective is to double fish exports in the coming years.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi and Union minister Giriraj Singh joined the launch programme from Patna via video-conference.
"The motive behind all these schemes launched today is to empower our villages and make India self-reliant (Aatmanirbhar Bharat) in the 21st century," PM Modi said.
"Today the scheme is being launched in 21 states across the country. Over ₹20,050 crores will be spent on this in the next 4-5 years. Works worth ₹1,700 crores are being started today. Under the scheme, several facilities have been inaugurated in Patna, Purnia, Sitamarhi, Madhepura, Kishanganj and Samastipur," said the Prime Minister.
The benefits of the scheme include addressing critical gaps in the fisheries sector, to work towards equipping the sector with the latest technology, to upgrade critical infrastructure, strengthen the value chain and to create employment opportunities in it.
He also said that the scheme has provisions that would boost the welfare of those associated with fishing.
It aims at enhancing fish production by an additional 70 lakh tonnes and increasing fisheries export earnings to ₹1 lakh crore by 2024-25. Most importantly, to make the optimum use of the fisheries sector, the Prime Minister said a new ministry has been formed while other schemes like Mission Clean Ganga and Mission Dolphin will also benefit the fisheries sector.
"This will increase earning opportunities through farming as well as other means," he added. The initiative will boost fish, milk and honey production, paving the way for blue, white and sweet revolutions,
The project in Bihar would witness an investment of ₹1,390 crores with the central share of ₹535 crores and the additional fish production target pegged at three lakh tons. During the current fiscal, the Union government has sanctioned Bihar's proposal costing ₹107 crores.
New aspects would be added to the existing process including Sagar Mitras, fishing vessel insurance, provision for new and up-gradation of existing fishing vessels and boats.
Integrated coastal fishing villages development, bio-toilets, Nucleus Breeding Centres and aquaculture in saline and alkaline areas would be a significant part of the scheme.
It emphasizes on interventions for quality brood, seed and feed and a special focus on species diversification, critical infrastructure and marketing strategies aiming to double the incomes of fishers and fish farmers.
The Prime Minister said that apart from fisheries, the government is committed to working and promoting the dairy sector through innovation and new products.
The PM said the centre was looking at taking IVF technique in rearing calves to every village. "A cow generally gives birth to one calf in a year, but there have been experiments in laboratories getting several calves in a year through IVF technique. We intend to extend this technique to every village."
He also launched the e-GOPALA app which is a comprehensive breed improvement marketplace and will provide information "related to cattle care, from productivity to its health and diet".
There is no digital platform for farmers managing livestock including buying and selling of disease-free germplasm in all forms including semen and embryos and quality breeding services.
Also, there's a vacuum in digital technology to guide the farmers on animal nutrition, treatment of animals using appropriate ayurvedic medicine and ethnoveterinary medicine or to sent alerts on the due date for vaccination, pregnancy diagnosis and calving and inform farmers about various government schemes and campaigns in the area.
Hence, the e-Gopala App will work towards bridging the gap and provide viable solutions to the farmers on all these aspects.
PM Modi mentioned Mission Dolphin which was announced on the independence day.
"I learnt that Nitish Babu has been quite excited with the project. I believe if the number of dolphins goes up, it would benefit people living by Ganga." He was referring to the positive impact of rearing dolphins on the fishery," he said.
Lauding the work done by the Bihar government, Modi praised Nitish for the scheme to deliver drinking water to every home. "Till four-five years ago, only 2 per cent people were linked to supplied drinking water. This figure has now gone up to 70 per cent and about 1.5 crore households are linked to the scheme," he said.