There is immense potential in aquaculture in India. The water resources here and the number of fishermen dependent on them are very high. Government of India has launched Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana to capitalize on the opportunity in this industry. This scheme will not only provide fair price for fishermen’s fish products, but this scheme will also enable proper processing of fish products. Ultimately, these products will give impetus to the country’s economy by connecting with the global value chain.
Now the state governments are also moving in this direction. That is why Uttar Pradesh has started Mukhyamantri Matsya Sampada Yojana. This scheme has been started with an aim to benefit 17 sub-castes of the Machua (fishermen) community. UP Mukhyamantri Matsya Sampada Yojana was launched in the budget 2022-23 of Uttar Pradesh. The scheme will benefit those fishermen who have faced loss of traditional sources of income and livelihood.
Under Mukhyamantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, the state government will establish 100 fish seed banks in the first year on those ponds which have been improved through convergence under MGNREGA in Gram Sabhas and for which leases have been issued. Over 500 such banks will be set up in the next 5 years.
The State Government will give 40 percent subsidy on the investment made by the lessees on such ponds in the first year. Against the input cost of Rs 4 lakh, the Uttar Pradesh government will provide a subsidy of Rs 1.6 lakh, which is 40% of the total input cost. The UP Mukhyamantri Matsya Sampada Yojana scheme will benefit leaseholders for ponds in 500 hectares in the first year and 2,500 hectares in five years.
Apart from this, the Government of Uttar Pradesh has also started Nishadraj Boat Subsidy Scheme in the budget 2022-23. For this a provision of Rs 2 crore has been approved which is mainly for 17 sub-castes under “fisherman” community.
The scheme will cover 1,500 lease holders in gram sabhas every year, thus benefiting a total of 7,500 people in five years. This, while on the one hand will check illegal fishing and loss of revenue to the state government, on the other hand, more and more people of the fishing community will be encouraged to come forward to protect the aquaculture resources of the state.
These ambitious schemes launched by the central and state governments to promote aquaculture in India are very visionary. If these are successfully implemented then they will change the picture of Indian rural economy.