Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal Credit: Twitter

Guwahati: Announcing that the state has become self-sufficient in fish production by increasing its production more than 4% in the last four years, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that the state produced 3.35 lakh metric tonne of fish in 2019-20.

Sonowal also said that FISHFED, a state-level cooperative federation of primary fishery cooperatives of Assam, sold fish worth Rs 180 crore during the first two phases of lockdown.

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“Apart from becoming Atma Nirbhar (self-reliant) in fish production, we are being able to supply fish to other northeastern states and we have the capacity to become the biggest producer and exporter of fish in the country,” CM Sonowal said while taking part in a programme to distribute appointment letters to 12 fishery development officers (FDOs) under the fisheries department.

He also informed that Rs 20 thousand crore were allocated for fisheries sector by the Centre in the Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Modi in the aftermath of COVID19 lockdown to revive country’s economy.

Proposals worth Rs 1,000 crore have already been submitted to the Centre by Assam government for deriving maximum benefit from the Rs 20,000 crore allotted to fisheries, he said, adding: “Altogether 28,000 MSMEs in the state have already derived benefits from Rs 3 lakh crore stimulus provided to MSME sector by the Centre.”

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Citing example of Vietnam, where fishery and agriculture officials work in close tandem with the farmers, Sonowal urged the new appointees to utilise their academic knowledge in practical field through a friendly approach towards the fish farmers.

“There is greater demand in international market for fresh water fish vis-a vis sea fish and therefore, newly appointed FDOs must commit to the cause of capturing the global market through state’s fish in the spirit of ‘Vocal for Local’ mantra of Prime Minister Modi,” he added.

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