India should back science to develop fisheries harvests

Prof. Ramesh Chand Prof. Ramesh Chand, a member of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), speaking with scientists of the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI)

An NITI Aayog agriculture economist has urged India to take proactive measures to sustainably enhance marine fisheries harvests through scientific interventions.

Speaking at a meeting with the scientists of the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Prof. Ramesh Chand, a member of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), said: “Marine fisheries exports sector should give due importance to develop internationally acclaimed brands through high quality value addition, certification and promotional activities so that India could fully exploit the potentials of niche markets in developed countries.”

Referring to the fluctuation in fish price, Prof. Chand stated that implementing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for fish does not seem to be a practical step, but suggested instead that implementation of some type of price support through a price stabilisation fund and formation of fish producers organisations would be beneficial.

Different approaches

“Higher production and technology integration is required to boost domestic and overseas trade of fish and other value added products. CMFRI scientists should focus more on different ways to increase the fish productivity,” Prof. Chand added.

He also said that NITI Aayog is concerned over the present growth rate of employment in rural industries. “Creating employment is one of the biggest challenges the country is facing today. Growth rate of employment in rural industries is very poor. During 2005 to 2012 it was meagre 0.65% per year.”

“The planning and vision in the area of agriculture and allied sectors should be re-designed so as to generate more job opportunities in rural areas”, he said, urging the scientists to concentrate on value addition in the sector that offer employment opportunities.

Further engagement between the CMFRI and NITI Aayog to facilitate development was also discussed.

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