Manipur Fisheries Minister N. Kayisii said Manipur will strive towards achieving self-sufficiency in fish farming and would discontinue import of fishes from outside the state by 2022. Kayisii was speaking as the chief guest at the Fish Fair-cum- Fish Crop Competition 2018 held at DM College of Arts, Thangmeiband, Imphal Thursday.
Of the 52,000 metric tonnes of fish required for consumption in the state only 32,000 metric tons are being produced by the fish farmers of the state annually while the remaining gap is filled by importing it from other states.
Minister Kayisii said that fish farming activities are mainly concentrated in the valley when hill areas have the potential for fish farming. Observing that fish farming can be a great tool to solve unemployment and poverty, he encourages people to take up fish farming.
This year’s fish fair saw a wide participation of fish farmers from all over the state where approximately 90,000 kgs of fishes were put up on sale. Altogether 90 fish stalls from different districts and fish farms including stalls of Fisheries Department, ICAR, CAU and College of Fisheries, were opened. Fish fair cum fish crop competition is being held to facilitate buyers and also to encourage fish farmers by giving marketing facilities.
Amom Tiken, general secretary of All Manipur Fish Farming Society Association said that proper growth of fish takes time and aquaculture farmers will have to suffer three years due to the flood that occurred this year.
Noting that 30,000 hectares of land in the state is suitable for the fishery, he said fish from Manipur can be exported rather than import if the fishery department helps the farmers in using the suitable lands for fishery which will, in turn, generate employment in the state too.
Tiken further said though water is the most important raw material for fishery, land and a proper market is also very essential for developing it.
In June last during a meeting with the fishermen of the state, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh also assured to enhance fish production in the state. He said there is vast scope for fish farming as there are abundant water bodies in the state. He also mooted to set up fish feed factory at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.5 crores in the state soon under the PPP model.