Agartala: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Wednesday launched Mukhyamantri Nibir Matsya Prakalpa, a scheme to popularise new technologies in fish culture to cut imports from states like Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and neighbouring Bangladesh.

Through this scheme, beneficiaries will be assisted financially and technically in setting up biofloc units in urban and rural areas. Deb also inaugurated a day-long workshop where resource persons will impart training to selected fish farmers on new technologies in fish farming.

Speaking at the function, Deb said, “Fishermen of Tripura have the potential to usher in a new dawn. Total production of Tripura has gone up by 7,000 metric tons in the past few years, which is a major jump. Simultaneously, the total area for farming has also increased by 8.20 per cent.”

According to Deb, production of prawns increased by 7.98 per cent and average productivity rose by 5.97 per cent. “Keeping parity with the rise in production, per capita fish consumption of Tripura has also risen. Compared to 24.96 kgs of annual consumption per person in 2017-18, the per capita consumption now stands at 25.35 kg,” said Deb.

He said, “fish is an unavoidable part of our daily platter, be it in the hills or the plains. About 7,482 people are engaged directly with fish production and trade in Tripura. I hope the day is not far ahead when we don’t need to import fish from other states to meet our daily consumption.”

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Slamming the previous government for the gap between production and consumption, Deb said, “For years, fish farmers did not get the government’s attention. Our government brought about a fresh leasing policy and ensured that farmers involved in pisciculture get easy loans through Kisan credit card.”

Speaking at the same programme, Tripura Fisheries Minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia said, “I was awarded the charge of the Fisheries department barely a few months ago. After I got the responsibility, I have visited all the major water bodies of the state, and I can assure you that the potential in the fish sector is mostly unexplored. Today highly qualified youth are taking advantage of the new technologies shining economically in this sector. I want all to come forward.”

Jamatia also lamented that to date, a huge quantity of fish is imported from Bangladesh, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. “If you visit the local fish markets, you will see 50 per cent of the fish displayed in the stalls are procured from other states. Since it is our daily need, we must move ahead towards self-reliance. It will benefit our state only and the money that flows outside will roll in the local markets”, observed Jamatia.

The annual fish production in Tripura is above 50,000 metric tons while the requirement is much higher.


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