PM Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) is making progress

  • The COVID-19 pandemic threatened to halt progress in 2020, just as India’s fisheries sector was preparing for a change through government-led reforms.
  • However, Prime Minister Modi turned the crisis into an opportunity by releasing the Atmanirbhar Bharat plan, which targeted the fishing sector especially.
  • With a huge allocation of 20,000 crore for the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), this programme injected new life into the sector, making it the largest-ever investment in Indian fisheries history.

PMMSY’s Key Achievements:

  • PMMSY addressed critical gaps in the fisheries value chain, including fish production, productivity, quality, technology, post-harvest infrastructure, and marketing.
  • Marine fisheries, inland fisheries, fishermen’s welfare, infrastructure development, post-harvest management, cold water fisheries, decorative fisheries, aquatic health management, and seaweed farming were among the initiative’s strategic priority areas.
  • Youth Empowerment: PMMSY encouraged young entrepreneurs to enter the fisheries industry, boosting technical innovation and youth participation. Young women in Kashmir have raised cold water rainbow trout, while aquapreneurs in Nellore have become successful exporters of biofloc-cultivated prawns.
  • Expanding to Non-Traditional Areas: The programme expanded fishing activities to non-traditional areas, transforming saline wastelands in landlocked states like Haryana and Rajasthan into viable aquaculture zones.
  • Empowering Fisherwomen: The PMMSY gave fisherwomen the opportunity to explore alternative livelihoods such as decorative fisheries, pearl culture, and seaweed gardening. This forward-thinking attitude is exemplified by the establishment of the 127 crore Seaweed Park in Tamil Nadu.
  • Infrastructure and Research: The programme funded the construction of 900 fish feed facilities and 755 hatcheries, as well as research and genetic improvement of Indian White Shrimp, specialised pathogen-free brood stock development, and tiger shrimp domestication.

Global Recognition of India’s Fisheries Sector:

  • India has risen to become one of the world’s top three countries in fish and aquaculture output, as well as the world’s largest prawn exporter.
  • Growth in Investment: The government’s commitment to the fisheries sector is clear, with recent announcements of 6,000 crore as a sub-scheme under PMMSY, totaling investments in excess of 38,500 crore during the last nine years.
  • Record Production and Exports: India achieved 174 lakh tonnes of fisheries production in 2022-23, a huge rise. From 2013-14 to 2022-23, prawn output increased by 267%, reaching 11.84 lakh tonnes. Seafood exports are expected to more than treble from 30,213 crore in 2013-14 to 63,969 crore in 2022-23.
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