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People, farmers throng 2nd Aquafest

SHILLONG: People and fish farmers from across the State thronged the venue of the second State Aquafest organized by the Department of Fisheries, Meghalaya on Wednesday.
Other line departments like Animal Husbandry & Veterinary, Agriculture, Horticulture, Soil & Water Conservation, Meghalaya Khadi & Village Industries Board, Registrar of Cooperative Societies etc., participated in the event that was held at the State Central Library premises.
‘Youth should favour self employment’
Encouraged by the success of fish festivals organized in Shillong and Tura, Health and Family Welfare Minister A L Hek, said that the endeavor provides an opportunity to the youth of the State to favour self employment over white collared jobs.
The Health Minister added that the State Aqua Mission is a blessing for the people of the State since it has brought economic development to their doorsteps.
Hek, however, observed that a lot still needs to be done to create awareness amongst the masses on the benefits the Mission has on offer. He also called upon the people to grab the opportunity provided by various government schemes for economic and sustained livelihood.
5681 fish ponds entered production since the launch of Aqua Mission
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Principal Secretary, Fisheries department KN Kumar informed that since the launch of the Aqua Mission on March 5, 2012 as many as 5681 fish ponds have entered production cycle while around 20,000 ponds are still in varied stages and will come into production cycle by 2015.
He also informed that under this Mission, 12 eco hatcheries have been set up and seven of these have come into the production cycle and there is an improvement in production of fingerlings in the State.
Kumar also appealed to the local populace to encourage and promote fish farmers by buying local fishes which are healthy and nutritious.
Need to popularize fishery
Addressing the gathering, Chief Secretary PBO Warjri, said that there is a need to popularize fishery as one of the socio economic development activity in the State.
He also said that the State has the potential to rear varieties of fishes, especially ornamental fishes which can generate good income.
Meanwhile, cash awards of Rs. 10,000 and mementos were distributed to the best fish farmers from each District during the event.

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