By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma on Friday released the draft of the Meghalaya State Aquaculture Mission here.
The aquaculture mission will be launched to coincide with the 12th Plan period to make the state self sufficient state in fish production.
State Chief Secretary WMS Pariat, who was also present during the release of the draft document, said the State Government has targeted January, 2012 for launching the Aquaculture mission in the State.
The State Government has also sought suggestions and opinions from various stakeholders involved in the fishery sector.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, “This mission is targeted to make people self sufficient in the fisheries sector.”
According to him, this mission will also enable the state to not only produce the required fishes but to even export fish to other neighbouring states.
He also said that the Fisheries department is working to expand and support the fish farmers so as to ensure that the State reduces the demand and supply gap and becomes self sufficient in fish production on a long term basis.
The Chief Minister invited suggestions, feedbacks and comments from all the stakeholders from across the political spectrum, civil society, officials, progressive fish farmers, District Councils, scientists, academic and research institutions before finalization of the draft. He also said that the suggestions and ideas would be examined and suitably considered for incorporation in the final draft.
The total cost of the project which will be launched from the 12th Plan period (2012 to 2017) will be Rs 497.30 crore. Of the total project cost 5% would include administrative costs.
Under the project, 1 lakh fish ponds would be created and twenty sanctuaries will also be created at a cost of Rs 8.20 lakhs each.
The mission is expected to give a boost to the state fisheries sector as the Meghalaya is presently producing only 6000 -8000 metric tonnes of fish which is inadequate and because of which there is over-dependence on fish from West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
The Chief Minister reiterated that the present per capita fish consumption in Meghalaya is only about 3 kg per person per year. For a healthy regime the quantum of fish consumed should be brought up to 10 kg per person per annum.
“The fish seeds would be scientifically developed and distributed. Even the feed would be scientifically formulated so that the end benefits are felt by the consumers,” the Chief Minister said.