India's Telangana to release close to one billion seedlings during 2018-19
The newly crafted state in South India, Telangana, has decided to release 820 million fish seedlings during the 2018-19 financial year in an effort to increase fish production, state officials said.
The state government’s fisheries minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav said that the release will help Telangana to achieve 30-percent growth in fish production to 350,000 metric tons, according to a report from Telangana Today.
The minister, while speaking at the recently concluded AquaEx 2018 event, said that currently, the state produces 271,000 metric tons, with 510 million fish seedlings distributed across the Telangana during the 2017-18 fiscal year.
As per an estimate, Telangana has India’s third largest inland water resources with two big rivers, Godavari and Krishna, passing through its territories along with 77 large, medium, and small reservoirs. The state also has 24,100 tanks which are used for fish production.
The minister said that in the coming years, the state will be adding several irrigation projects that will also increase fish production as well.
Fisheries and Animal Husbandry Secretary Sandeep Kumar Sultania said at the event that the state’s fish per capita consumption is just 7 kg, compared to the national average of 11 kg per capita. The increase in fish seedlings will fill this gap, as well as increase fish output, Sultania said. Currently, to meet state fish demand, Telangana is importing fish from other states.
If the production is more than can be consumed, Telangana can also export to other states where there are huge demands, Sultania added.
The state is also implementing an Integrated Fisheries Development Scheme (IFDS) with a budgeted outlay of INR 10 billion (USD 153 million, EUR 125 million) to enhance fish seed production, offer harvesting and marketing support, and facilitate infrastructure development.
Telangana is creating new fish markets, where fish can be sold in proper hygienic conditions. The state is also organising fish events and expositions, where new developments in the fisheries sectors will be displayed.