Pulwama, Oct 9: As first of its kind project in J&K, Union Minister of State, Information and Broadcasting and Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Dr. L. Murugan inaugurated the Re-circulatory Aquaculture Systems (RAS) technology for culture of rainbow trout in private sector under Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) at Awantipora today.
District Development Commissioner, Baseer ul haq Chowdhary and other senior officers were present at the inaugural ceremony.
The project is seen as a profitable and sustainable source of employment as it has shown great promise in other parts of the country where fish farming is carried out and such projects are in operation.
The Union MoS on the occasion said that the reproduction process facilitates the entrenchment of producers in their communities as they generate alternative livelihood opportunities, an official handout said.
He made a thorough inspection of the RAS plant and interacted with district officers.
Coming up at an estimated cost of Rs 50 lakhs, the plant houses 10 circular tanks with capacity of 50,000 liters water each.
The Minister said that impressive strides in modernizing the fisheries sector have been made with concerted and collaborative efforts by government and private investors.
Recognizing the immense potential of this sector, the Government of India under the guidance of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has launched the flagship scheme, Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) at a substantial investment for the holistic development of fisheries in the country, the Minister remarked.
PMMSY, marking the largest investment ever in the Fisheries sector, aims to drive ecologically healthy, economically viable and socially inclusive growth that contributes towards the economic prosperity and wellbeing of fishers and fish farmers as well as to the food and nutritional security of the country, added the Minister.
Dr Murugan further said that achieving these ambitious targets requires systematic and strategic enhancement of production and productivity, infusion of technology, quality improvement of seed and feed, value addition, species diversification and an enabling regulatory framework that would facilitate the activities of the sector.
The Minister called upon the aspiring fish farmers to harness the potential of the fisheries sector in a sustainable, responsible, inclusive and equitable manner. He impressed upon them to enhance fish production and productivity through expansion, intensification, diversification and productive utilization of land and water besides modernizing and strengthening the value chain including post-harvest management and quality improvement.
Dr. Murugan said that to double fishers and fish farmers’ incomes and generate meaningful employment, enhance the contribution of the fisheries sector to Agricultural GVA and exports besides ensuring social, physical and economic security for fishers and fish farmers are some of the important aims and objectives of the scheme. He informed that government is committed to develop a robust fisheries management and regulatory framework wherein the aims and objectives of the scheme are fructified.
Besides, PMMSY has been designed to address critical gaps in the fisheries value chain from fish production, productivity, quality, technology, post-harvest infrastructure and marketing, the Minister maintained.
Later, the Minister distributed cheques among the beneficiaries of the scheme.
Minister visits Shopian
The Union Minister of State visited Shopian district as part of the Union Government's ongoing Public Outreach Programme.
The Minister e-inaugurated Health Institution Turkawangam, which has come up at an estimated cost of Rs 260 lakh, e-inaugurated 7 km Ramnagri-Gadipora Naham road which has come up at an estimated cost of Rs. 283.76 lakhs, laid e-foundation stone of 4.5 km Tunnel road Safanagri, coming up at an estimated cost of 295 lakhs and laid e- foundation stone of Takwan Gatipora road besides meeting public delegations.
District Development Council Chairman Biqees Jan, DDC Vice-Chairman, Irfan Manhas, Deputy Commissioner, Shopian, Sachin Kumar Vaishya, SSP, Shopian, Amritpaul Singh, and Chief Planning Officer, Shopian, Khursheed Ahmed Khatana were also present on the occasion.
Deputy Commissioner gave a brief outlook through a Power Point Presentation to MoS and highlighted the developmental activities in the district.
On the occasion, Union MoS said that the district has a huge potential for milk production besides having the biggest fish production source and if exploited, it can change the socio- economic condition of the local population.
The Minister, the official statement said, appreciated the efforts put in by the UT government and the district administration to uplift the tourism sector in the district and urged the officers to work with extra zeal so as to bring Shopian on international tourist map.
On the occasion stalls were erected by some departments at Shirmal, Shopian showcasing their performance and ongoing activities. The Minister inspected all the stalls and interacted with the staff and the visitors at these stalls and distributed various certificates among the beneficiaries who had established dairy units, cow units, sheep units in their respective areas. The Minister also gave away one ambulance provided by Animal Husbandry Department Shopian, milk machines and genset, tractors, poultry and milk vans, sheep units under integrated sheep Development scheme and sheep units under Tribal Sub Plan, shearing machines and milk transportation vehicles as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. Dr. Murugan said that the youth of the district should come forward and avail of the schemes like PMMSY and other Centrally Sponsored Schemes to earn their livelihood in a decent manner.
He said that under the dynamic leadership of the Prime Minister, Agriculture sector is progressing by leaps and bounds and the PM wishes to empower the farmers so that they may be able to increase and redouble their income.
He further said that the Apple Town Shopian is famous for its apple production besides a good milk production increasing on each passing day. He said that the PM's mission is to uplift the weaker sections of the society to enable them to earn their livelihood in a better way.
Dr Murugan said that PM wants his Ministers to assess on-ground situation to take feedback from the public and stresses to ensure that the people's lives are made comfortable and positive change is brought therein.
The Minister felicitated some youth of the district for establishing various units in their respective areas which enable them to earn their livelihood.
Dr. Murugan also released a booklet "A Guide to important prevalent sheep diseases and their treatment" that shall help the farmers to get their livestock population better treated besides other related information.
The Minister also distributed certificates of achievement among the beneficiaries of the district.
Later, several delegations called on the Minister and apprised him about various public issues and sought his intervention to resolve the issues.
The delegations include Vice-Chairman DDC, Members of District Development Council, BDCs, PRIs, Civil Society Members, Tribal Youth, Sarpanchs and others.
The delegations raised several demands and issues with regard to development and other initiatives.
The Minister gave patient hearing to all delegations and individuals and assured them of a positive response from the government with regard to the redressal of their grievances.
Sharing the vision of the Prime Minister, Dr. Murugan said the “Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas” slogan by the Prime Minister is not merely a slogan but a mission that will ensure the betterment of socio-economic condition of weaker sections of society.