In the goal of doubling farmers’ income, the focus on allied activities of agriculture plays a crucial role. The Modi government from time to time has given a specific roadmap and evolved a support system in the pursuit of strengthening the allied activities of agriculture. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the past urged farmers to follow new ideas in which these allied activities increase their income. “Instead of wasting money on building fences, farmers should grow trees on their farm border as India is a timber importing nation” he had said couple of times. This government focused on encouraging beekeeping, promoting herbs production, and facilitating farmers to earn from their barren land by installing solar panels.
Here is a glimpse of the design PM Modi is striving to make for agriculture sector.
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana – A Prologue to Blue Revolution
In such a shifting focus on allied activities of agriculture, a mega step has been taken to light up the fish farmers lives with more income. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been pitching for the Blue revolution for long time, and on May 20, 2020 the union cabinet has approved the “Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, a scheme to bring about Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of fisheries sector in India” with highest ever investment of ₹20,050 crores. It was announced in the recent budget and now the roadmap and allocation has been given.
Here, the Central share is ₹9,407 crore, State share ₹4,880 crore and Beneficiaries contribution is ₹5,763 crore.
Fisheries: The Present and the Goal
What does Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana attempt to achieve can be understood properly by looking at the present picture and assessing where the scheme wants to take this forward.
Present production: Fish production stands at 137.58 lakh metric tons in 2018-19.
PMMSY goal: To take it 220 lakh metric tons by 2024-25.
Plan of Action: A ‘Cluster or area-based approach’ would be followed with requisite forward and backward linkages and end to end solutions. Promotion of high value species, establishing a national network of Brood Banks, organic aquaculture promotion and certification, good aquaculture practices, modern technologies like Block Chain, aquatic health management by a modern laboratory network. Fish Farmer Producer Organizations shall also be set up to increase their bargaining power, insurance coverage for fishing vessels.
Present export capacity: The export of marine products stood at 13.93 lakh metric tons and valued at ₹46,589 crores (USD 6.73 billion) during 2018-19.
PMMSY goal: Increase this volume to earnings of about ₹1,00,000 crores by 2024-25.
Plan of Action:
Aquaparks as hub of fisheries and aquaculture activities with assured, affordable, quality inputs under one roof, post-harvest infrastructure facilities, business enterprise zones, logistic support, business incubation centers, marketing facilities etc. shall be encouraged and supported. Interventions in post-harvest management are expected to reduce the post-harvest losses from the reported 20-25% to about 10%.
Private sector participation, development of entrepreneurship, business models, promotion of ease of doing business, innovations and innovative project activities including start-ups, incubators etc. in fisheries sector are also to be actively pursued.
Employment at Present: The sector provides livelihood to more than 20 million fishers and fish farmers at the primary level and twice the number along the value chain.
PMMSY goal: Apart from enhancing the income to those involved, about 55 lakhs direct and indirect employment opportunities in the fisheries sector along the supply and value chain will be added.
Plan of Action: Youth would be engaged in fisheries extension by creation of 3,347 Sagar Mitras in coastal fisher villages. Besides, large number of Fisheries Extension Services Centers would be set up in private space to create job opportunities to young professionals.
Major investments in construction and modernization of Fishing Harbours and Landing centers for hygienic handling of fish, urban marketing infrastructure to deliver quality and affordable fish, development of state of the art whole sale fish markets, retail markets – all of these will result in creation of employment.
Any revolution can’t be an overnight phenomenon. A sustained plan needs to be in place. Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana is such an endeavour stretching five years and touching upon all the elements from harvest to cold-chain to marketing.
A poem by an American poet goes,
“It takes more than a wish
to catch a fish
you take the hook
you add the bait
and then you wait…”
PMMSY assures a big catch for various set of beneficiaries such as fishers, fish workers, fish vendors, SCs/STs/women/differently abled persons, fisheries cooperatives/Federations, FFPOs, Self Help Groups and Individual Entrepreneurs by promising them a sustained livelihood.