Imphal: Manipur government will provide loans with 50 percent grant to fish farmers who produce local Sareng, Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh announced on the occasion of 21st National Fish Farmers’ Day, 2021 on Saturday.
Biren instructed the fisheries department to introduce a scheme in this regard soon.
The fish farmers day was organised by Directorate of Fisheries, Manipur at its office Complex at Lamphelpat on Saturday.
Stating that Manipur is a state with its cuisine marked by abundant consumption of fish, he stressed on the need to carry out advanced fish farming in order to meet its people’s demand for fresh fish which are healthy for consumption.
During the function, cash rewards to ‘Best Fish Farmers – 2020’ were also distributed. The Highest Producer in Group Category was rewarded with Rs 1 lakh cash amount. First, second and third highest producer in individual category was also rewarded with Rs 1 lakh, Rs 70,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively. The other awards included Highest Individual Fish Producers, Highest Fish Production Officers and consolation prizes among others. The awardees were also provided certificate and coffee table book of Four Years Citizen Centric Government.
The state government had identified some sectors which needed prioritization in which fisheries was one of them. With the aim to increase fish production in the state, the government had also provided financial assistance to many fish farmers under certain schemes, Biren said.
He appreciated the Manipur State Co-operative Bank Ltd. for so far providing loans of around Rs 22 crore to fish farmers. The government has now made access to loan by farmers easier in lesser time with its single clearance window system and added that this initiative had convinced borrowers to timely repay the loan too, he added.
The production capacity of fishes in the state has also increased from 31,000 MT to 33,000 MT per year now with the joint efforts of the government and the fish farmers. The production capacity had been affected to some extent by the pandemic which otherwise would have increased significantly, he said.
The government is putting in best efforts to produce sufficient quantities of fingerlings for supply to fish farmers at a lower rate. He stressed on the need to make fish feed locally available in order to reduce the cost incurred in fish farming. This would help in making fish products available to the people at lower prices, he added.
Instructing the department officials to inquire if the machine for producing fish feed was working properly, Biren told them to procure a new machine if it was found not working.
Fisheries minister Sorokhaibam Rajen said the government has also provided land for three years, to those landless farmers who want to carry out fish farming, on lease amount of Rs 20,000 per acre per year under the Loktak Livelihood Mission. This would help in increasing fish production in the state, he added.
He informed that he and his department officials met the Union fisheries minister and briefed about certain necessary projects on his recent visit to Delhi. He also announced that one cold storage each would be constructed at Imphal West and Bishnupur districts to prevent wastage of fish.
He also urged the officials to put sincere efforts in producing fingerlings from the farms owned by the department so that it could be supplied to the fish farmers at subsidised rates.
Biren released a booklet highlighting the activities and achievements of the fisheries department in the past four years.