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Meghalaya announces aquaculture mission

Shillong, June 30: Meghalaya today announced an aquaculture mission which envisages major investments in the state’s fishery sector.

Chief minister Mukul Sangma said, “The government is preparing to launch an aquaculture mission for the state, which envisages major investment in the fishery sector. It will be a mission-mode approach to promote aquaculture in the state.”

Sangma made the announcement while inaugurating a workshop, Development of Inland Fisheries in Meghalaya: Problems and Prospects, here. It was organised by the state fisheries department.

While releasing the discussion paper on Meghalaya aquaculture mission, Sangma said people could send their comments after which the mission would be finalised, before being implemented in April 2012.

Sangma said the government would make substantial investment in the fishery sector to improve the state’s gross domestic product and provide substantial livelihood to the poor and marginalised sections of the rural society.

He said Rs 37.40 crore had been allotted under the special plan assistance in 2010-11 to give a fillip to the department’s ongoing activities.

“With the cooperation of the people and all stakeholders, fisheries in Meghalaya will be one of the major sectors contributing to the state’s economy,” he added.

On the integrated basin development and livelihood programme, Sangma said efforts were on to make livelihood in rural areas attractive by creating new opportunities to minimise migration of the rural population to the urban areas.

The chief executive of National Fisheries Development Board, P. Krishnaiah, said the board would provide the necessary support to the government in terms of grants, infrastructure and human resource development to both officials and the fish farmers.

State chief secretary W.M.S. Pariat said there was a substantial gap between demand and supply of fish in the state.

He also said if aquaculture were aggressively promoted, economic growth would be augmented.

Fish sanctuaries in Meghalaya especially in Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills have been developed to create livelihood for the rural people.

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