IMPHAL, Oct 29 - In a bid to encourage fish farmers and provide a platform to exhibit and sell fish and fish products, a daylong fish fair-cum-fish crop competition was held under the aegis of the Fisheries Department at the DM College of Arts here today.
The fair was held in connection with Ningol Chakkouba, the biggest festival in Manipur during which married sisters are invited by their brothers to a grand feast and given gifts at their parental homes.
Manipur Fisheries Minister N Kayisii and the Chairman of the Planning and Development Authority, Manipur, T Robindro, were the chief guest and the guest of honour of the inaugural function of the fish fair. Additional Chief Secretary (TA and Hills) Letkhogin Haokip and director Bidyarani Ayekpam were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Fisheries Minister Kayisii stated that fish production has increased since the department put in its best efforts to meet the State�s annual requirement of 52,000 metric tonnes.
He said that fishery activities have to be taken up both in the hills and the valley to meet the requirements of the State. Despite lack of adequate funds under the State plan, the department is trying its best to explore ways and means to meet the fund requirements, the minister added. Many new initiatives have been taken up including project proposals for retail fish outlets, retail fish markets, hatcheries, cage culture, fish feed mills, low cost housing and insurance for fish farmers, etc., he said.
Certificates of participation will be distributed to every participating fish farmer this year. The certificate holders will get special preference for schemes or grants by the department in the future, Kayisii added. PDA chairman Robindro and Additional Chief Secretary Letkhogin, besides Fisheries Director Bidyarani, also spoke on the occasion.
Meanwhile, a festive mood prevails in the State capital for the Ningol Chakkouba festival. People are thronging markets to buy items and goods for the festival. Shopping malls in and around Imphal area have also witnessed huge crowds.