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Fish production: State to be self sufficient by 2018

SHILLONG: Aiming to make Meghalaya self sufficient in fish production by 2018, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has sanctioned an amount of Rs.169.26 crore for development of fish ponds and hatcheries in the State.
Informing that the estimated total requirement of fish in the State was 33,000 metric tonne, the Chief Minister said that the government will not stop importing fish till the State becomes self-sufficient in production of fresh water fish.
Sangma was speaking during the Question Hour in the Assembly on Wednesday.
Out of the allotted amount of Rs.169.26 crore, the State Government has sanctioned Rs.46.83 crore while the Centre will take care of the remaining Rs.122.42 crore.
Sangma said that the government will review the progress of the project and would not shy away from adopting other strategies to ensure that the target is achieved since the ‘Aqua Mission’ was a dynamic one.
The chief minister also informed that the Fisheries department has already released Rs.113.38 crore to be disbursed to the farmers and entrepreneurs.
“The total number of beneficiaries in the State from (2008-2009 to 2014-2015) under various components is 26439,” he said.
Sangma, who is also the Minister in charge of Fisheries, said that the initiative aimed to ensure that the consumers of the State get access to fresh fish since imported fish takes at least 10 days to reach Meghalaya.
Raising a supplementary query, Leader of Opposition Donkupar Roy alleged that many beneficiaries had failed to implement the project. He also urged the government to conduct a survey to find the problems faced by these beneficiaries.
Reacting to a query from NPP legislator, James Sangma the chief minister said that there was a programme to ensure community participation in developing a fish sanctuary and sustenance of indigenous fish was an integral part of the programme.
To a query posed by UDP legislator Embhahlang Syiemlieh on fishing competitions being organized in these fish ponds, Sangma said, “This is a new trend seen in the state and it generates lots of interest among the people. The government is also initiating a catch and release approach.”

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