Months before the pandemic struck India, India was fighting another battle called the Economic Slowdown.
As the world economy was struggling to keep up, India bore the brunt much like other developing nations. This slowdown has negatively impacted the domestic businesses right from the corporate biggies like Infra Sector, Pharma Sector, Agriculture to smaller sectors like Cottage industries, MSMEs and even village level Self-Help Groups.
Even the Government numbers indicated the slowdown which led the government to announce numerous reforms, significant changes in legislation, and stimulus packages to revive the economy of the country. This includes the ₹20 Lakh Crore Package for Atmanirbhar Bharat.
To get the maximum possible impact from these packages, the representatives from the government have placed prime focus on agriculture, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, etc as they are a major source of income for the rural population.
With this vision in mind, the Union Cabinet of India approved Pradhan Mantri Matsya Yojana (PMMSY) to support Fisheries and fish rearing population.
Key Highlights of the PMMSY
Aim: The PMMSY is aimed at bringing BLUE REVOLUTION to India via sustainable and responsible development of the Fisheries Sector in India.
The focus of the Scheme: The Scheme will address critical shortfalls and other issues in fish production including
Reformation and Modernization of Technology in the Sector.
Refinement in Machinery being used for fishing.
Raising the efficiency of the Value Chain.
Improvement of productivity in the Fisheries Sector.
Betterment in traceability and quality of the Produce.
Time Period of Implementation: The Government stated that the Scheme will be implemented during a period of 5 years from FY2020-21 to FY2024-25.
Objectives of the PMMSY
To realize the full potential of the Fisheries Sector in a Sustainable, Responsible, Inclusive, and Equitable manner.
To increase the production of the Fishes in Fisheries by intensification, expansion, and reformation.
To provide Social and Financial Security to the Fishers and Fish Farmers.
Reinforcing the management system adopted in Fisheries in order to create a strong regulatory framework.
Doubling Fishers and Fish Farmers’ income as a part of the vision of the Government.
To generate maximum employment in the Fisheries Sector.
To Modernize and Strengthen the Value Chain in Fisheries Sector.
To Reinforce Post-Harvest Management and promote quality improvement in the Fisheries Sector.
Key Components of the Scheme
Central Sector Scheme (CS): Under this component, the Government will earmark ₹1,720 crores towards the Scheme.
Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS): Under this component, the Government will allocate ₹18,330 crores which brings the total allocations to ₹20,050 crores.
Approach being followed by PMMSY
To raise the productivity of the fishing sector, the government decided to follow ‘Cluster or Area-Based Approach’.
This approach takes a definite part of the region, rather than the whole sector or target group, as a primary entry point for the rehabilitation of the target sector.
The Government decided to include forward and backward linkages and end-to-end solutions to ensure efficiency.
Importance of Fisheries in India
The Fisheries Sector of Indian provides livelihood opportunities to 20 million Indian people through direct or indirect means.
The Contribution of India towards the global fish production is massive 6.3% and it is estimated that India produced 12.60 million metric tonnes of fishes in the year 2017-18
The Fisheries Sector accounts for around 10% of the total exports from India and nearly 20% of the agricultural exports.
Fisheries Sector contributes about 0.91% of the national GDP and 5.23% to the average Gross Value Added of the country.
Fisheries and Aqua Culture are an important source of nutrition, employment, trade, and income in India.
Citing the poor rating of India in Global Hunger Index, the low cost and high protein content of Fish makes it an ideal option to address the problem of hunger and malnutrition in India.