Patna, Sep 10 (PTI) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for launching programmes worth Rs 294 crore relating to Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), agriculture and animal husbandry sectors in the state, where assembly polls are due in October-November.
The schemes will benefit farmers, especially cattle rearers, and those engaged in pisciculture, Kumar said.
The PMMSY and several initiatives were launched in Patna, Purnea, Sitamarhi, Madhepura, Kishanganj, Begusarai and Samastipur districts through a virtual meeting during the day.
The PMMSY is a flagship scheme for focused and sustainable development of fisheries sector in the country with an estimated investment of Rs 20,050 crore for its implementation during 2020-21 to 2024-25 as part of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat package.
Expressing satisfaction over the completion of a building for a semen station in Purnea, the chief minister said, it will not only help Bihar but also northeastern states.
The frozen semen station in Purnea will be the first state-of-the-art semen production centre of the country for which the state government has given 80 acres besides creating 59 posts and sanctioning Rs 47 crore for it, Kumar said.
Currently, artificial insemination is done by CMOFED (Sudha) in Bihar. For artificial insemination which can increase milk production and productivity, semen from high genetic merit bulls is needed.
Mentioning that the government has set up a Bihar Animal Sciences University in Patna, Kumar said that an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) laboratory is being inaugurated at Patna which will help boost milk production and raise the income of cattle rearers.
Noting that 76 per cent of the rural population in Bihar is dependent on agriculture, Kumar said that the state has witnessed tremendous agricultural growth following the implementation of three agriculture roadmaps.
Egg production which was 106 crore in 2007-08 has now increased to 274 crore, Kumar said, adding that meat production has also risen from 1.8 lakh metric tonnes to 3.83 lakh metric tonnes in the same period.
The chief minister said that he has mooted an idea to inspire people to go for pisciculture in nine lakh hectares of chaur (barren low land filled with water) of north Bihar where people can dig ponds for fish farming.
On the other side of the land, the farmers can grow lemon grass and Khus grass which will help in protecting crops, Kumar said.
During the virtual meeting, the prime minister announced the establishment of a fish brood bank at Sitamarhi and an aquatic disease referral laboratory at Kishanganj for which assistance has been provided under PMMSY.
The prime minister also inaugurated a comprehensive fish production technology centre and building of school of agri management at Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University at Pusa in Samastipur district.
While launching the programmes, PM Modi heaped praises on the chief minister for the 'Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal' scheme under which the state government aims to provide safe drinking water to every village, and for 'efficiently tackling' the COVID-19 pandemic and the floods situation.
More than 1.5 crore households have been provided tap water connection in the state so far, Modi said.
'It is really a big achievement that 60 lakh households have been provided with water supply connections even during Coronavirus pandemic,' he said. PTI AR MM MM