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Hek seeks GoI help to boost animal rearing, fisheries sector

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NEW DELHI, June 23: Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister, AL Hek on Sunday met Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, George Kurien and sought the central government’s help for expansion of the two key means of livelihood of the poor people in the state — animal husbandry and fisheries.
Hek said livestock and poultry in the Northeastern states contribute about 6% to the all-India livestock, which is a fairly good number but there is enough scope for expansion in all the eight states including Meghalaya.
“There is a decline in milch livestock which is a cause of concern for the region. The Union government should intervene and arrest the trend,” Hek said.
He explained that in Meghalaya, there is more focus on time-tested species like pigs and cattle serving local needs. Secondly, the region which depends mostly on backyard rearing of livestock and poultry is gradually orienting towards less capital-intensive animals.
Similarly, in the case of fisheries the region and particularly the state has vast and varied fisheries resources. The region is rich in freshwater fish species and is regarded as one of the world’s hotspots for freshwater fish biodiversity, Hek pointed out.
“These sectors have immense potential for providing employment opportunities to youth, livelihood to rural masses and economic development as a whole for the region,” Hek said, while adding that he will send a detailed project proposal for expansion and modernisation of these key grassroots sectors to the Ministry once he is back in the state.

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