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Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana: Fostering the development of Fisheries sector in India

On the second anniversary of the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), a scheme launched in 2020 for the upliftment of the fishing community and the fisheries sector in India, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying organized an event at the capital to commemorate its achievements and announce future objectives to bring a blue revolution in the country.
Speaking about the event, the Ministry gave a statement that during the event, a Booklet on PMMSY and its achievements, Matsya Sampada: 3rd edition of DoF Newsletter, Tilapia Action Plan as a part of Export Diversification, Scampi Action Plan, National Seed Plan was released.

In 2020, the government of India launched a mega scheme with an outlay of Rs 20,050 crores with an aim to foster a blue revolution by improving production and boosting exports. The Ministry also added that in the last two years, the fishing sector has successfully bounced back after the shock of the pandemic. It added that the fisheries sector has recorded an impressive growth of 14.3 per cent yearly between 2019-2020 and 2021-2022. Notably, fish production in India reached an all-time high of 161.87 lakh tonnes in the last fiscal year.
The fishing community in India is vast. It supports 28 million livelihoods indirectly while there are four million fishermen in India, as reported in the 2010 Census of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. The likely figures are set to be higher than the above as it is over a decade old. Significantly, around 6 out of 10 fishermen families are living below the poverty line in India. The fishing sector contributes 2 percent GVA to the national economy.

Under the scheme, the GoI is aiming to double the incomes of the community at the earliest. The vision document outlines that PMMSY “intends to address critical gaps in fish production and productivity, quality, technology, post-harvest infrastructure and management, modernization and strengthening of value chain, traceability, establishing a robust fisheries management framework and fishers’ welfare.” In addition, it wants to harness the true potential of the fishing sector in India in a sustainable, inclusive and equitable manner.
India has a coastline of over 6 thousand kilometers yet it contributes only 7% to global fish production. Although India is the second largest producer of fish in the world, fish-processing and value-added-product segment including post-harvest management is highly underdeveloped.

To meet the challenges of the future, the scheme has rightly divided the roles of the local governments, states, and the beneficiaries. The scheme has a centrally financed and a centrally sponsored segment giving the premise to the local governments. Apart from traditional production/productivity dimensions, thrust will give on implementing “quality, sustainability, standards, and traceability in fisheries sector from ‘catch to consumer’, post-harvest infrastructure and management, modernization and strengthening of value chain, enhancement of fisheries export competitiveness and a robust fisheries management and regulatory framework.”

Private sector participation will play a big role as it has changed the face of Indian industry since the economic liberalization. Role of start-ups, innovations through entrepreneurship and private investment in fisheries sector will be promoted. To enhance competition in the sector, a cluster or area-based approach is being implemented under PMMSY. Governance federalism is promoted by empowering the sub-district and district levels to contribute to programme development and attaining the goals in mission mode.

The success of the fisheries sector in India will be crucial to bringing economic flourishment to the coasts which are often battered by inclement weather hazards, particularly, the western coast and flood-prone rivers. The learning will prove invaluable to the vast fishing community around the world.

By Dr. Ankit Srivastava

Photo Credit : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tonnes_of_sardines_at_Rameswaram_fishing_port_in_India..JPG


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