New Delhi, Sep 10 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched the Rs 20,050 crore-Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) in 21 states, including Bihar, that will help double fisheries exports, create more employment opportunities and boost income of farmers.
Through a video conference, the Prime Minister also launched the mobile app e-Gopala as well as several initiatives linked to studies and research in fisheries production, dairy, animal husbandry and agriculture in Bihar. The state is heading for the assembly polls in October-November.
'The motive behind all these schemes launched today is to empower our villages and make India self-reliant (Aatmanirbhar Bharat) in the 21st century,' Modi said.
The PMMSY is being launched in 21 states with over Rs 20,000 crore to be spend in the next four to five years, he said, adding that projects worth Rs 1,700 crore commenced on Thursday itself.
Modi said it is for the first time after independence that such a major scheme has been launched in the country for the fisheries sector.
Under this scheme, Modi said many facilities have been inaugurated in Patna, Purnia, Sitamarhi, Madhepura, Kishanganj and Samastipur of Bihar.
The PMMSY will ensure new infrastructure, modern equipment and access to new markets to fish producers and improve avenues for increasing income apart from farming. Fisheries exports are expected to double in the next four to five years, he added.
With an estimated investment of Rs 20,050 crore, the PMMSY will be implemented from 2020-21 to 2024-25 as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package. It aims at enhancing fish production by an additional 70 lakh tonnes and increasing fisheries export earnings to Rs 1 lakh crore by 2024-25.
To tap the potential of the fisheries sector, Modi said a new ministry has been formed while other schemes like Mission Clean Ganga and Mission Dolphin will also benefit the fisheries sector.
Apart from fisheries, Modi said the government is promoting the dairy sector through innovation and new products so that farmers and cattle breeders get more income.
He emphasised on promoting 'IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation)' technology in cattle breeding and disseminating scientific information about cattle care.
'Usually a cow gives birth to one calf in a year. But with the help of IVF technology, many calves are possible in a year. Our goal is to reach every village with this technology,' he said.
About the mobile app e-Gopala, he said this online platform -- that provides all the information related to cattle care, from productivity to its health and diet -- will help farmers choose better quality livestock and get freedom from middlemen.
The e-Gopala app is being linked with animal Aadhaar and once that work is complete, then it will be easier for farmers to get all information about animals as well as help them in buying and selling animals, he said.
To ensure quality of livestock, Modi said a free vaccination campaign has been launched on Thursday to vaccinate more than 50 crore livestock against foot and mouth disease, and brucellosis. Provisions have also been made under different schemes for better fodder to animals.
He noted that Mission Gokul is underway to develop better indigenous breeds in the country. A country-wide artificial insemination programme was started a year ago and its first phase was completed on Thursday.
Stating that Bihar is now becoming a major centre for the development of quality indigenous breeds, Modi said the state is going to be strengthened in the dairy sector with the modern facilities built in Purnia, Patna and Barauni under the National Gokul Mission.
'The centre built in Purnia is one of the largest centers in India. This will greatly benefit not only Bihar but a large part of eastern India,' he said, adding that this centre will also give a boost to the development and conservation of indigenous breeds of Bihar like 'Bachhaur' and 'Red Purnia'.
To increase farmers' income, Modi said clusters of food processing industries and research centres should be set up near villages. Efforts are being made to rope in all villages as engines of growth and helping them make India self-reliant.
The central government has set up the Rs 1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Development Fund for creating special infrastructure and providing support to Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), cooperative groups to develop storage, cold storage and other facilities, he added.
Lauding farmers' efforts during COVID-19, Modi said, 'it is the strength of our villages that despite the corona, grains, fruits, vegetables and milk continued to come to the mandis, to the dairies without any shortage'.
Not only this, the dairy industry has also made record purchases despite the difficult situation, he added.
To support farmers, Modi said the government has directly transferred funds under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) directly into the bank accounts of more than 10 crore farmers in the country, especially about 75 lakh farmers in Bihar.
'About Rs 6,000 crore has been transferred to farmers in Bihar so far,' he said.
Earlier, Union Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Minister Giriraj Singh said the PMMSY would help immensely in the development of the fisheries sector in Bihar and other states.
He said the Centre has announced an investment of Rs 26,000 crore in the last six years for the animal husbandry sector as against mere Rs 3,680 crore between 1947 and 2014.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar highlighted the importance of agriculture in the state, saying that 89 per cent of the population lives in villages while 76 per cent people are dependent on agriculture and allied sectors.
He said the production of meat, milk and eggs has jumped during his regime and the dependence on other states has reduced significantly.
He also talked about how the state government is making efforts to encourage fisheries and farming in the land area being submerged under water for most part of the year.
Kumar said the PMMSY would be beneficial for farmers and help them in enhancing their income.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said the animal husbandry ministry in the state was known for fodder scam and nobody wanted to become minister of this department. The Nitish Kumar government has given a life to this ministry and the allocation has been increased 15 times to Rs 1,178 crore in 2020-21 from Rs 72 crore in 2005-06, he added. PTI LUX MJH RAM