KOCHI: The ambitious ‘Matsya Samrudhi’ project, mooted in a bid to shore up fish production levels in the rural belts of the state, will be launched in June this year. The state government-sponsored project will jointly be implemented by the Fish Farmers Development Agency, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and the Agency for the Development of Aquaculture Kerala (ADAK).
The `195-crore project targets to increase the production by one lakh tonnes within a period of three years. The project is expected to make the state coffer richer by `481.5 crore.
Under the project, selected beneficiaries which includes individuals, farmer’s groups, co-operative organisations, government bodies and other local groups will be identified and provided with the necessary training and input subsidies. The project would also lay emphasis on open water fisheries focusing on rivers and backwaters, where the production has dwindled over the years.
“The current fish production from the rural belt is 1.5 lakh tonnes. Through this project we are targeting an increase of 1 lakh to 2.5 lakh tonnes. The government will also contribute input subsidy for the fish seeds and feeds. Other expenses like the reclamation of land for the project will be met by the concerned local bodies,”, said Joint Director of Fisheries and project officer, S Ajayan.
A total of 750 local bodies from across the state have been included in the project, with special focus on the Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Thrissur and Kollam districts.
The hatcheries of the Fisheries Department will make available one crore seeds for the project, that will include prawn, shrimp, mussel, crab and pearl-spot seeds. The rest will be
procured through the Agency for the Development
of Aquaculture, Kerala (ADAK).
Persons owning at least one cent of land will be eligible to apply for the project and each beneficiary will be provided a subsidy worth `10,000/hectare for fresh-water fish culture and `20,000 for shrimp culture.
A state-level guidance cell with experts, scientists and ministers from the concerned departments would be set up as an advisory body. Besides this, a special cell, a number of both state and district-level project implementation committees will be set up. The state government has begun the recruitment process of 50 Project Assistant professionals who will train the farmers.