Taking a cue from an old adage, “Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”, the Telangana government will soon teach farmers how to process fish so that they can fend for themselves for a lifetime.
Betting big on the multi-billion-dollar fish processing industry, the state government is mulling partnering with SHGs to establish fish processing units at the village or mandal level to provide the requisite facilities to farmers, department of animal husbandry and fisheries principal secretary Sandeep Kumar Sultania here on Thursday.
Besides, the government is also planning to attract players in the fish processing industry to set up units in food processing parks to boost exports, he added
“There are thousands of SHGs in the state… we are seeing if we can establish a processing unit at every village or mandal level, where we procure the fish from the villages and process it and export it… there could be some marketing agency in between. In other model, there are many food processing parks, so one can set up a unit, procure fish, process it and export,” he said on the sidelines of the curtain raiser event — AquaEx-India 2019 — a trade and technology fair on Indian fisheries and aquaculture to be held in the city during January 31- February 2, 2019. While companies like Allana Group already have a presence in the state, others like Lulu Group are going to set up shop here soon.
The state has over 25,000 reservoirs spread over 5.73 lakh sq km and the focus has been on increasing the fish production. The state government had supplied around 50 crore seeds (fertilised fish eggs) last fiscal and around 80 crore this fiscal, leading to an increase in the fish production in Telangana from 2.7 lakh tonnes in 2017-18 to nearly 3.7 lakh tonnes in the current this fiscal.
The fisheries sector provides livelihood to about 14.5 million people in the country. India’s fish production has increased from 0.75 million metric tonnes in 1950-51 to about 10.79 mmt in 2016-17 and over the years the production has shifted from sea and river fishing to aquaculture