Assam has immense potential to become top fish producer and

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said Assam with abundant water resources has immense potential to become a top fish producing and exporting state in the country and also tap the South East Asian market.

The Act East Policy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opened a window of opportunity for the state fish producers to gain access to South East Asian market and they must be prepared to compete with the best in the world, he said.

The CM was speaking at a meeting here to distribute appointment letters to 32 Junior Engineers of Fisheries department.

"Fishery sector has immense potential and we must vigorously engage in it for deriving maximum benefits. Assam is blessed with abundant water resources and we have the capacity to become biggest producer and exporter of fish in the country", Sonowal said.

"For that we must adopt latest scientific technologies for augmenting our production," the Chief Minister said.

The infinite potential of Brahmaputra and Barak rivers must be harnessed to achieve fast paced development of state and vast presence of natural water-bodies must be properly utilised for growing the fishery sector, he said.

Calling on the new appointees to spend a night with the fishermen and the fish producers for understanding their difficulties and challenges, Sonowal directed the Fishery department to prepare an assessment report of the required quantity of fish in the state for gaining a clear picture about the potential of the market.

Stating commercial fishermen go through a lot of hardships to catch fish which one cannot realise without witnessing their painstaking processes, Sonowal also announced that best fishermen and fish producers would be felicitated at a state level programme to acknowledge their contribution to the state's fishery sector.

Appreciating the Fishery department for being able to increase the state's fish production by 20,000 metric tonne in 2017-18 from the previous year, he said the Chief Minister's Samagra Grammya Unnayan Yojna (CMSGUY), a scheme to transform the rural economy with a budget outlay of Rs 33,000 crore, has also kept fishery as a priority area.

Hoping the newly appointed Junior Engineers would be able to make positive changes in the department by infusing fresh thoughts and knowledge, he urged them to dedicate themselves to the cause of making the state a top fish exporter in the near future.

Highlighting the programme of distributing soil health cards to the farmers as an important step of Prime Minister Modi government to give farmers knowledge about the quality of their farming land, Sonowal informed that the cards have been distributed to 11 lakh farmers of the state and now distribution of water health card is also being planned.

Speaking on the occasion, Fishery minister Parimal Suklabaidya informed that NABARD has approved a package of Rs 100 crore for 1000 hectares of fisheries of individual owners and even if the fish export into the state is totally stopped, the state has the capacity to meet the requirement with its own production.

He also said that concerted effort of all the officials of the Fishery department has resulted in the 3.27 lakh metric tonne production of fish in the state during 2017-18 which is an increase of 20,000 metric tonnes from the previous year.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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