National Flagship Programmes for Fisheries

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    • Recently, the Union Minister of Fisheries launched three national flagship programmes for the development of the fisheries sector.
      • The minister launched the following programmes

    National Surveillance Programme for Aquatic Animal Diseases (NSPAAD) Phase-II 

    • The Indian Economy loses  about 7200 crores annually due to fish diseases therefore, early detection and managing the spread is crucial for controlling the diseases.
    • Government of India has implemented the National Surveillance Programme for Aquatic Animal Diseases (NSPAAD) since 2013 for strengthening the farmer-based disease surveillance system
    • To continue the efforts with intensity, the Government has sanctioned the NSPAAD: Phase-II under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana 
    • The phase-II will be implemented at pan-India, and all the State Fisheries Departments along with Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) are expected to play an important role 

    Genetic improvement program of Penaeus indicus (Indian white shrimp)-Phase-I

    • The farmed shrimp alone contributes about 70% of India’s seafood exports worth Rs. 42000 crores. But the whole sector mostly depends on one exotic Pathogen Free stock of Pacific white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) species which is quite risky
    • To break this single species dependence and to promote indigenous species, the government has taken up the genetic improvement programme of the Indian white shrimp ( P. indicus) as a national priority.
    • This program will lead to “Atamanirbharata” for shrimp stock, which is at present imported from other countries.

    Shrimp Crop Insurance product

    • Shrimp farming is labelled as a “risky venture” contrary to the fact that India achieved about 430% growth in shrimp production during the last one decade.
    • Majority of the aquaculture farmers are small farmers, own 2-3 ponds and face huge obstacles to raise working capital for the crop, due to lack of access to institutional credit and insurance
    • ICAR-CIBA developed a Shrimp Crop Insurance product which charges a differential premium based on location and requirements of the individual farmer from 3.7 to 7.7 % of input costs 
    • Farmers will be compensated to the tune of 80 % loss of input cost in the event of total crop loss. i.e., more than 70% crop loss. 

    Fisheries Sector in India

    • The fisheries sector is a direct source of livelihood for more than 20 million fishers and fish farmers; contributes INR 1.75 trillion annually to the gross value added to India’s economy.
    • India is the third largest fish-producing country with a fish production of 14.73 million metric tonnes and one of the largest exporters of farmed shrimps around 7 lakh tonnes. 
    • Fisheries are the country’s single-largest agriculture export, with a growth rate of 6 to 10 per cent in the past five years. while the growth rate of the farm sector in the same period is around 2.5 per cent.
    • It has a marine fisher population of 3.5 million; 10.5 million people are engaged in inland fishery and fish farming.

    Challenges faced by Indian fisheries

    • Sustainability: The Food and Agriculture Organisation’s State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture reports note that nearly 90 per cent of the global marine fish stocks have been fully exploited or over-fished.
    • Lack of access to credit: Fisheries have been considered risky business and lack of access to formal credit has forced small farmers into debt at high-interest rates.
    • Lack of Infrastructure: Lack of refrigeration facilities leads to spoilage of the huge catch. The use of formalin to keep the stock fresh has led to a ban on the export of fish.

    Way Forward

    • Fisheries drive the growth rate of the agricultural sector. Solving bottlenecks faced by the industry will help in improving the contribution of the agricultural sector to the economy and earning precious foreign capital. 

    Source:PIB