Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture

 India has a coastline of more than 7,500 km. with an exclusive economic zone of over 2 million square kilometers. It is the third-largest producer of fish and the fifth of prawns in the world. India is also home to 4,846 inland fisheries projects; about 675 commercial aqua farms; and about 2,500 public sector fish seed production units.

The fisheries and aquaculture sector is one of the growing industries in India. It plays a very vital role in enhanced food production, employment generation, and foreign exchange profit in the country. Thus, it is referred to as the sunshine sector in Indian agriculture. The Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, constituted the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying, and Fisheries to oversee the development of the fisheries sector through the State Governments and Union Territories (UTs).

Objective of the scheme

 It is an ambitious project that aims to provide employment opportunities to rural people, improve the quality of life in rural areas and increase fish production. The Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Scheme has been launched with the objective to enhance fish production from the inland sector and make India self-reliant in fish production. It is to be achieved by promoting fish farming, enhancing fish production from the inland sector, increasing fish seeds and quality seeds in the country, developing hatcheries and brood banks across all the agro-climatic regions of the country, and diversifying aquaculture practices.  In addition, it will also encourage the conservation of biodiversity in freshwater bodies by promoting integrated management practices.

Project Cost 

All the freshwater fish resources in India are estimated to be about lakhs. Much of this is underutilized, not fully developed, and not exploited commercially. The present fishing intensity (hence production) is probably just 10% of what the nation can achieve if optimum utilization of our waters is achieved. The Ministry has approved the total assistance of Rs.135 Crores to cover all the inland fishery resources available in the country in the form of fresh water, brackish water, cold water, waterlogged areas, alkaline soils for aquaculture, and other fishery resources such as reservoirs, ponds, tanks, rivers, etc.

 The costs of developmental activities are shared between the Central and State Governments, with each contributing 75% of the total cost. The scheme will be covering the following components:

  • Development of Freshwater Aquaculture
  • Development of Brackishwater Aquaculture
  • Development of Waterlogged Areas
  • Coldwater Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Constructive implementation of Inland Saline Soil Aquaculture
  • Integrated Development of Inland Capture Resources (reservoirs/rivers, etc.)

Let’s discuss these project elements and detail:

Development of Freshwater Aquaculture 

 Here’s how the assistance will be provided under the component.

Construction of New Ponds: 

  • The assistance of 2 Lakhs/ha to the farmers in the plain areas and of Rs.3 Lakhs/ha to the farmers in the hilly areas.
  • The government has allotted a subsidy of Rs.40,000/ha to non-SC/ST farmers and Rs.50,000/ha for SC/ST farmers to build new ponds in plain areas. Whereas, the allotment subsidy of Rs.60,000 for non-SC/STs and Rs.75,000/ha for SC/ST farmers to build ponds in hilly areas and North-Eastern regions are granted.

Restoration of Ponds and Tanks

  • The assistance of Rs.60,000/ha will be allocated to renovate the already existing ponds.
  • Non-SC/ST farm families and SC/ST farm families will be eligible for a subsidy of Rs.12,000 /ha and Rs.15,000/ha respectively under this component.

Production Cost 

  • Up to 30,000 rupees per hectare will be offered for activities related to fish culture and 1.2 lakh rupees for prawn culture.

For Running Water Fish Culture 

  • A total grant of Rs.20,000/unit of 100 Sq. M for both plain and hilly areas
  • Under the component, farmers will be given a subsidy of Rs.4,000/unit for non-SC/ST farmers and Rs.5,000/unit for SC/ST farmers
  • Each farmer is eligible to receive grant money for three units.

Cohesive Fish Farming

  • The government will provide Rs.80,000 per hectare as assistance and a subsidy of Rs.16,000 per hectare for non-SC/ST farmers and Rs.20,000 per hectare for SC/ST farmers to conduct integrated fish farming in order to increase fish production.

Maintenance and Functioning of the Aerators/Pumps

  • Farmers producing 3000kg/ha/year will each get a subsidy of Rs.12,500 for each set of aerators they purchase.
  • The scheme allows for the installation of a maximum of two 1 horsepower aerators per hectare of water area or one 5 horsepower diesel pump per ha of water area.

Strengthen the Freshwater Fish Seed Hatchery

  • The government has allocated Rs.8 lakh for the hatchery with a capacity of 10 million for the plains, and Rs.12 lakh for the hill areas to boost its production further.
  • The government offers a subsidy of Rs.80,000 and Rs.1.20 lakh to entrepreneurs in open areas and hilly areas, respectively.

For the Support of the Fish Feed Unit 

  • The government has given Rs.5 lakhs to support small fish feed units, which can process 1.2 quintals of fish per day.
  • Every eligible entrepreneur gets a subsidy of Rs.1 Lakh per unit.

To help fish farmers learn more about the latest scientific methods of raising fish

  • All participants in the fish farming training are paid a stipend of Rs.100 per day for attending the program, plus a travel allowance of Rs.100 each.

To setup freshwater prawn seed hatchery at State levels

  • The Ministry will provide a lump sum of Rs.30 lakh for large freshwater hatcheries and Rs.8 lakh for small hatcheries with a minimum capacity of 25 million PL/year and 5-10 million PL/year, respectively.
  • The government has allotted Rs.1.6 lakh to be given as a grant to entrepreneurs

For the construction of laboratories 

  • The government will allot Rs.30 lakh to the respective states, out of which Rs.25 lakh will be used for the building’s construction and Rs.5 lakh for other materials, such as equipment and chemicals.

Development of Brackishwater Aquaculture

This component supports the development of brackish water aquaculture by establishing farmers’ groups that make use of the country’s vast area of brackish water. These groups are formed by Fish Farmers Development Agencies in all coastal areas and union territories. Here’s how the assistance will be provided under the component: 

  • To encourage the growth of brackish water fish farming, the government has allotted Rs.40,000 per hectare as a subsidy for land owners having more than 2 hectares of land.
  • The State governments help shrimp farmers by providing training assistance under the Fisheries Training and Extension Scheme through surveillance centers of Aquatic Animal Health.
  • The center will provide a 100% or complete expenditure toward building the network of expertise diagnostic centers with the help of laboratories for Aquatic Animal Health.
  • The Government will subsidize the establishment of demonstration centers with enriched training etiquette with a grant of Rs.5 Lakhs.
  • The center extends full-cost funding for the Aquatic Quarantine and Inspection Units (AQIU) and its allied units to improve their inspection and testing methods in line with ICAR’s National Biotechnology Framework.

Coldwater Fisheries and Aquaculture

  • Allotment of Rs.5 Lakh for the preparation of a resource survey report and feasibility report.
  • Allotment of Rs.5 Lakh for short-term investigations, breeding or rearing, etc.
  • The state government will provide funding for the construction, renovation, extension, or remodeling of fish farms.
  • The government is allocating Rs.7,000 per beneficiary as a grant for the establishment of cold-water species in a farming unit. The unit cost of this project is Rs.35,000.
  • The units under the running water fish culture will be allotted a grant of Rs.8,500 per unit
  • The state government will release a grant of Rs. 10 Lakh per unit for the feed units
  • To support its efforts to train farmers, the state will provide a stipend of Rs.100 per day for 10 days. This amount includes Rs.100 toward travel expenses and field visits for each trainee.

Creative Application of Inland Saline/Alkaline Waters for aquaculture

  • The government will provide a subsidy of Rs.50,000 per hectare to support the cost of construction.
  • The government will issue a subsidy of Rs.20,000 per hectare as input costs for land purchased at a unit cost of Rs.1 lakh per hectare.
  • To support its efforts to train farmers, the state will provide a stipend of Rs.100 per day for 10 days. This amount includes Rs.100 toward travel expenses and field visits for each trainee.

Inland Capture Fisheries (Reservoirs/Rivers etc.)

  • The Central Government provides a subsidy of Rs.40,000 to the beneficiary/State Government for each Fish Seed Rearing Unit (FSRU) set up.
  • The government will subsidize the cost of seeds, feed, manures, fertilizers, preventive measures, and other inputs. A subsidy of Rs.6,000 will be released to the beneficiary/State Government for the same.
  • To support its efforts to train farmers, the state will provide a stipend of Rs.100 per day for 10 days. This amount includes Rs.100 toward travel expenses and field visits for each trainee.
  • The government will provide a subsidy of Rs.3,000 to farmers to cover the cost of purchasing nets, boats, crafts, and gears.
  • Rs.1 lakh will be allotted by the State Government for the construction of landing centers.
  • The government provides a yearly grant of Rs.2 lakhs for the Riverine Fisheries Conservation and Awareness Programmes.

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