The Meghalaya government on Tuesday announced Rs 378 crore investment in the second phase of the state's flagship aquaculture mission aimed at cutting down fish imports into the hill state.
The mission - Meghalaya State Aqua Mission 2.0 - was announced by Fisheries Minister Comingone Ymbon at the 5th state aqua festival held here at the U Soso Tham auditorium premises which was also attended by hundreds of fish farmers from across the state.
Addressing the festival, the minister said that under the mission, willing partners will need to contribute only 15 per cent while another 25 per cent will be credit linkages and the rest 60 per cent government assistance.
He hoped the production would further increase in Mission 2.0.
Agriculture Production Commissioner K N Kumar, who is also the additional chief secretary, said Mission 2.0 aims at addressing the 15,000 MT shortfall of fish production in the state within the next five years beginning April 2019 and the government intends to bring 1,500 ha of water areas into fisheries production facilities.
Under the mission, the total investment will be Rs 378 crore which will be drawn from the Centre and external aids besides the state plan.
He said the Centre has already sanctioned Rs 51 crore under the Blue Revolution Scheme and about Rs 20 crore has been released.
Kumar said the government wants to also popularize integration of fish and paddy cultivation as practiced in Vietnam and other South East Asian countries.
Highlighting the achievement of Mission 1.0, Kumar said the mission doubled fish production of 4,799 MT in 2012 to 11,961 MT in 2017 and another 2,000 MT is expected to be added this year.
During the past four years, 14 small scale hatcheries, 12 medium hatcheries and 12 feed mills were set up besides training over 5,000 fish farmers across the state.
Under Mission 1.0, Kumar said 19,011 beneficiaries were identified and brought roughly 1,900 ha of water area under fishery in which the government invested Rs 157 crore, of which Rs 111 crore was a subsidy component and Rs 46 crore loan component.