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National Fish Farmers Day Meet-2023 Celebrated Today at Mahabalipuram

The National Fish Farmers Day Meet 2023 provided a platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration, promoting the growth and development of the fisheries sector in India.

Shivam Dwivedi
National Fish Farmers Day Meet-2023 Celebrated Today at Mahabalipuram (Photo Source: @PRupala twitter)
National Fish Farmers Day Meet-2023 Celebrated Today at Mahabalipuram (Photo Source: @PRupala twitter)

Mahabalipuram witnessed a momentous occasion today as Parshottam Rupala, the Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, along with other esteemed dignitaries, inaugurated the Exhibition on Fisheries Startups. Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, the Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, and Dr. L Murugan, the Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, were also present at the event.

The exhibition showcased 12 exceptional startups from across the country, highlighting the best among fisheries innovators. This exhibition served as part of the National Fish Farmer Day Meet 2023.

The event commenced with a warm welcome from Sagar Mehra, the Joint Secretary (IF) of the Department of Fisheries, Government of India. The Department of Fisheries displayed its achievements, and a virtual inauguration of 176 Fisheries Projects, worth Rs. 138.13 crore, covering 20 States/UTs, was carried out by Parshottam Rupala under the PMMSY Scheme of the Department of Fisheries. These projects have had a significant impact on approximately 15,000 beneficiaries at the grassroots level across 20 States/UTs. Furthermore, Rupala and other dignitaries virtually interacted with fish farmers and fishermen present at the event.

During the interactions, beneficiaries from different States/UTs shared their field-level experiences with Parshottam Rupala, highlighting their issues and commending the tremendous contribution of the PMMSY scheme and KCC in improving the lives of fishermen and fish farmers. The beneficiaries expressed their gratitude for the support provided and the positive impact these initiatives have had on the fisheries sector.

The Department of Fisheries, in partnership with Startup India hub and DPIIT, launched the Fisheries Startup Grand Challenge to identify, reward, and recognize startups creating an exceptional impact in the fisheries ecosystem. The challenge received applications from 121 startups across various problem statements. After a rigorous analysis, 12 startups were selected as winners of the challenge.

Parshottam Rupala felicitated the winners of the Fisheries Startup Grand Challenge, who were also part of the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana. These startups were provided with a cash award of INR 2 lakhs each to support their continued innovation in the field.

During his address, Parshottam Rupala praised the initiatives taken by fisheries startups and shared insights into the implementation of the PMMSY scheme. He highlighted the scheme's objective of enhancing fish production and productivity through the adoption of modern and scientific fishing and aquaculture methods. The Minister emphasized that these efforts not only increase the income of fishermen and fish farmers but also improve the availability of fish in the market, positively impacting food security and nutrition. Additionally, he emphasized that the PMMSY scheme is expected to create employment opportunities in the fisheries sector, contributing to the country's economic growth and development.

Parshottam Rupala encouraged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the benefits provided by the KCC for fish farmers and allied activities. He informed the audience about the establishment of a separate Department of Fisheries due to the high demand from fishermen across the country. Since 2014, the government has allocated significant funds, approximately Rs. 32,000 crore, for the development of the fisheries sector, taking into account the ground realities. He also highlighted the launch of the Report Fish Disease App (RFD) application, which allows farmers to report disease incidences in their fish farms and seek scientific advice from field-level officers and fish disease experts.

Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan stressed the importance of placing the welfare of fishers, fish farmers, and small-scale entrepreneurs at the core of the fisheries sector's advancement. He emphasized the need for a collaborative approach to formalize the sector, enhance its contribution to the national economy, and expand its reach for the overall welfare of stakeholders.

Dr. L Murugan recognized the critical role played by fishers and fish farmers in meeting the growing demand for fish. He acknowledged their invaluable contributions to providing a vital source of food and sustenance. Dr. Murugan highlighted the significance of sustainable fishing practices that increase productivity while minimizing environmental impacts. He also noted the tremendous potential of the fisheries sector, with over 9 lakh startup companies established since 2014, and emphasized the sector's importance in both marine and inland fisheries in the country.

Anitha R. Radhakrishnan, the Minister for Fisheries, Fishermen Welfare, and Animal Husbandry, Government of Tamil Nadu, expressed gratitude to all the dignitaries for their active participation. He shared his views on improving the quality of life and economic well-being of rural communities through the creation of livelihood opportunities.

Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Secretary of the Department of Fisheries, Government of India, acknowledged the tireless efforts of fishers and fish farmers nationwide, attributing their dedication and hard work to the success of the Indian fisheries sector. He emphasized the government's focus on the fisheries sector and the special funds allocated to its development. Sagar Mehra, Joint Secretary (IF), presented an overview of the Department of Fisheries' progress in various areas, including production and aquaculture, conservation and sustainability, infrastructure and technology, research, skill development, and capacity building.

The event also featured a presentation by the Deputy Director General (Fisheries) from ICAR, who highlighted the initiatives undertaken by ICAR. Dr. L. Narasimha Murthy, Chief Executive of NFDB, summarized the outcomes of the event's deliberations and expressed gratitude to all dignitaries, fishermen, fish farmers, public authorities, and participants for their presence and contributions. He informed the attendees that Tamil Nadu ranks second in Ornamental Fish Production and that the state government plans to establish new fish landing centers and other infrastructure facilities in the future.

The program was live-streamed on various social media platforms, allowing approximately 23,000 stakeholders, including fishermen, fish farmers, scholars, scientists, and officials, to virtually participate from 260 locations across 33 States/UTs.

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