Punjab Fisheries Minister Laljit Singh Bhullar on Sunday released a poster providing detailed information of various government projects to promote fisheries’ occupation in the State. Bhullar, after releasing the poster of these projects under PMMSY, said that the State Government has promoted this scheme in the state with the aim of further development of fisheries sector. He said that all kinds of projects for fish farming are included in this scheme, and beneficiaries can avail 40 to 60 percent subsidy for adopting this auxiliary occupation.
For the first time in the state, subsidy was provided to 43 beneficiaries for purchasing motorcycles, and auto-rickshaws for the transportation of fish and fish products under this scheme, said the Cabinet Minister, adding that besides this, around 120 hectares area has been brought under shrimp farming, for which financial assistance has been provided to 107 beneficiaries.
The Minister said that the project of mini fish feed mills are being established in the State under this scheme, and construction of a total five mini fish feed mills in the private sector at districts of Jalandhar, Patiala, SAS Nagar (Mohali), Faridkot, and Gurdaspur will be completed soon. Under this scheme, latest techniques of fish farming such as Re-circulatory Aquaculture System (RAS) and Bio-floc Culture System are also being promoted in Punjab, which would enable fish production in large quantity by using limited space and water. He said that currently, four RAS units are operational in the state, while the construction work of two more units is in progress. Apart from this, five bio-floc units are also being set up.
The Minister said that the State Government will organize special training camps for the expansion of these techniques so that more and more youth can adopt aquaculture as there is immense potential for the development of fisheries and allied occupations under this scheme.
“There is still a lot of work to be done in the aquaculture processing sector in Punjab because the development of this sector will create new employment opportunities,” he said, adding that this scheme will also be beneficial in making the marketing of fish clean and easy, and the Department will set up kiosks in the private sector for the marketing of fish and fish products in a clean manner. Besides this, ornamental fish occupation will also be developed in Punjab, he added.
Bhullar said that currently, 43,690 acres are under fish farming in the State, and total 1,89,647 tonnes of fish is being produced presently in the state from natural waters and private and panchayati ponds. In order to promote fish occupation, quality fish seed is being supplied to the farmers at subsidized rates from 15 government fish seed farms, while another new Government Fish Seed Farm, construction work of which would be completed soon at Village Killianwali of district Fazilka, will soon provide fish seed.
Apart from this, shrimp farming is being promoted to create employment opportunities in the salinity-affected districts of the state. Urging the farmers and youth of the state to adopt the aquaculture occupation, the Minister said that the Government is committed to provide requisite assistance for the development of fish farming, hence farmers and youth should derive maximum benefit from these projects and increase their income.