Expected value of the produce is around Rs. 5,500 crore
The State Government has decided to achieve self sufficiency in fish seed production by targeting production of 70 crore fry/fingerlings over the next five years.
It proposes to diversify production methods with cage culture, pen culture and re-circulatory aqua culture system known for saving water through recycling besides enhancing the value chain with initiatives in transportation, storage, processing and related segments. The initiatives come in the light of the success achieved in doubling fish production from 1.4 lakh tonne before bifurcation of State to 2.8 lakh tonne during the current year.
According to Fisheries Commissioner C. Suvarna, the Government succeeded in stocking 51 crore fish seed during the current year with introduction of major Carp species – Catla, Rohu and Mrigala – Common Carp – in seasonal tanks. Common Carp in particular was known to have high survival rate in capture fisheries and it would be commercially valuable in the market. This was in addition to double stocking (Aug-September and November-December) that had been taken up to ensure yearlong production of local fish.
The Government took a major initiative by formulating a comprehensive Integrated Fisheries Development Scheme (IFDS) with a financial outlay of Rs. 1,000 crore covering the entire value chain comprising seed production, fish production & productivity, harvesting, marketing, infrastructure development, innovation & capacity building of the stakeholders. This was expected to enhance the value of the produce to Rs. 5,500 crore.
The Government had taken up construction of four wholesale markets in the capital with one more proposed to be set up at Monda Market in addition to 40 retail markets including integrated markets across the State. It was also proposed to introduce portable marketing kiosks in all districts.
A model kiosk for each district would be deployed on pilot basis to encourage beneficiaries to shift to the kiosks to sell fish in hygienic condition instead of selling roadside.
Proposals were also underway for establishing landing centres, ice plants, training centres, laboratories with disease diagnostic facilities and providing portable water testing kits among others. The State had the third largest inland water resource with 77 large, medium and minor reservoirs in addition to 24,000 tanks. Completion of major irrigation projects would further add to the capacity.
Mr. Suvarna told The Hindu that emphasis was on scaling up modern fish production methodologies like cage culture while the State had, for the first time, introduced hatchery reared fresh water prawn commonly known as scampi on pilot basis in 10 reservoirs.
“The survival rate so far has been encouraging, but the full results will be known only during the harvesting season, around April next year,” she said.
The initiative had prompted the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute to include the Telangana model in its research studies while cultivation of another brackish water shrimp species Vannamei had also been launched in Gadwal and Wanaparthy with incentives like subsidies to encourage farmers.