India’s Telangana state builds fish markets, backs subsidies for sale of fish fingerlings
To provide local fisherman with a platform to sell their produce, India’s Telangana state will create 40 new fish markets in districts across the region.
Telangana State Animal Husbandry Minister T. Srinivas Yadav said the state will invest INR 1 billion (USD 15.4 million, EUR 13.5 million) in the project. The new fish market will allow fishermen to sell their produce directly to consumers rather than selling it to agents or middleman, thereby cutting their cost, Yadav said.
Despite being landlocked, Telangana has an estimated 2.71 million fishers, as well as nearly 4,000 fishermen cooperative societies with close to 300,000 members. The state is home to 474 aquaculture ponds covering 781 hectares, and 1,808 kilometers of canals and rivers are also used as a resource for cultivation of fish. As a result, Telangana state ranks third in India in the amount of inland fishery resources, with 587,000 hectares of water spread area (WSA), and eighth in fisheries production, with approximately 220,000 metric tons of production in 2016.
Fisheries is one of the fastest-growing sectors contributing to the state’s gross domestic product as well as generating income and employment. The sector aims at exploitation of all the possible resources under capture and culture fishery base for increasing fish production and productivity through sustainable development, Yadav said in his announcement.
Yadav said the state’s goal is to see all 31 of its districts have at least five fish markets each by the time the project is complete. He added that the state has already begun construction on fish markets at Begum Bazar and Monda Market, with a combined price tag of INR 150 million (USD 2.31 million, EUR 2.03 million).The new fish market will be equipped with modern fish stalls, cutting, dressing, and storage facilities, as well as waste water management systems, ample parking, and exclusive floors for retailers and wholesalers.
Apart from fish markets, the state government was planning to set up two fisheries colleges and a fishing and aquaculture training center. Yadav confirmed the state would continue its program to subsidize fish fingerlings to the state’s fishing community, and confirmed that the state distributed 290 million fish seed in 2016 as part of the government’s support of a “blue revolution.”
After the announcement, the minister held a meeting with local fishermen cooperative societies to discuss methods to strengthen and promote fish production. Following the meeting, the government agreed to widen its definition of water bodies it deems suitable for aquaculture to include all lakes, tanks, and reservoirs in the state, including small- and medium-sized ponds. That decision will allow for greater distribution of subsidized fingerlings.