Friday, June 21, 2024
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Strengthening of fisheries co-op in State sought

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By Our Reporter

Shillong: Additional Chief Secretary PBO Warjri has said that the only way Fisheries cooperatives can come up in Meghalaya is by educating the fisheries farmers on the need to harmoniously co-exist with one another.

“The major factor which prevents the Fisheries Societies from coming up in a big way is that the individual farmer works with his own agenda,” Warjri said, while speaking during a workshop on ‘Strengthening of Fisheries Society in the State’ here on Wednesday.

He said that the fish farmers of the State need to realize that the only way they can grow is to help each become part and parcel of the society.

According to the Additional Chief Secretary, the individual members should also be made accountable especially on matters relating to money.

“It has been found that many of the cooperative societies collapse due to differences over financial matters,” he observed.

It may be noted that a total of 28 fisheries cooperative societies with a total membership of 2129 are functional in the State, some of which are over 30 years old.

Pointing out that the State is blessed with the highest amount of rainfall in the whole world Warjri rued the fact that the State has not been able to retain this blessing.

“The total amount of water which precipitates from Meghalaya either goes to Bangladesh or Brahmaputra. We are able to retain very less water,” he said.

With the Government intending to make huge investment in the fish production sector in the State, Warjri said that there is a need to retain this water since it is one of the major ingredients required for fish rearing.

“We can retain this water either by constructing more fish ponds or in some other ways,” Warjri said.

With the launching of State Aquaculture Mission, the demand of the fish seeds would increase tremendously, he said, adding that there is a need to have a system in place whereby fish farmers can easily get fish seeds as and when required.

He also suggested finding out ways and possibilities to see if the State can produce its own fish seeds to meet the requisite demand.

Earlier, Commissioner and Secretary of Fishery department, KN Kumar, said that the total supply of fish in the State comes from Andhra Pradesh despite the State having enough land, water and skills needed for creating fish ponds.

“We get the fishes from Andhra 15 days after they are caught,” he said, while suggesting that the fishes consumed in the State might not be healthy.

Meanwhile, Cooperation Minister, Salseng Sangma, said, “This mission is historic and it will be a turning point for fish production in the State.”

Meghalaya faces a deficit of 15,000 MT of fish every year.

Andhra Pradesh is the biggest supplier of fishes to Meghalaya, besides West Bengal and Assam.

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