GUWAHATI, Dec 16 - Assam is likely to attain self-sufficiency in fish production in the coming year.
Currently, the fish production in the State is 3.73 lakh MT, which is a growth of 27 per cent as compared to the production in 2015-16. The present nutritional demand (at the rate of 12 kg per capita consumption) is 3.93 lakh MT, and as such the deficit is 0.20 lakh MT.
The Fishery Department is targeting an additional production of 50,000 MT in the coming year.
�We have developed 10,000 hectares of new pond and fishery area in the State under various schemes like Ghare Ghare Pukhuri Ghare Ghare Maach, Chief Minister�s Samagra Grammya Unnayan Yojona, Blue Revolution, RKVY etc. We expect the first harvest of these new pond areas in the coming year,� Commissioner & Secretary (Fishery) Rakesh Kumar told The Assam Tribune.
Given that one hectare area yields around 3 to 4 MT fish, the department hopes that it will give an additional production of 50,000 MT which will in turn fill the demand-supply gap.
Already, the quantum of imported fish from states like Andhra Pradesh has come down drastically. From 65,000 MT in 2017-18, the total fish import came down to 17,000 MT in 2019-20.
�However, this import is not entirely for Assam. A part of it goes to other NE states as wholesalers from Assam cater to their needs as well,� the official said.
The total import this year to other NE states from Assam stood at 9700 MT, which included both imported fish and local production from Assam.
�One cannot completely stop the import because of the difference in prices. The locally produced fish is more than double the price of that which comes from Andhra Pradesh. There is a certain category of people with low purchasing power and due to the demand from this section, the import won�t stop,� the official added.
Meanwhile, FISHFED has started on-line marketing through its platform www.fishfedassam.org. There are plans to deploy around fifty delivery boys in the city in the next two/ three months. The facility will be extended to other urban areas like Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar etc soon.