Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Oct 26, 2002
Agri-Biz & Commodities
Paddy-fish rotational farming plan on cards
KOCHI, Oct. 25
A PROGRAMME for introducing rotational farming between paddy and fish in paddy fields in Kottayam and Alappuzha districts is to be launched shortly by the State Fisheries Department, according to Prof K.V. Thomas, the Minister for Fisheries and Tourism.
The idea of the programme, called `Oru Nellum Oru Meenum', is to take up fish farming in such a manner that paddy cultivation is also enhanced.
The focus would be on farming of freshwater prawns (Machrobachium rosenbergii), he told newspersons on the ongoing/planned programmes in the fisheries sector on Friday.
He added that there was very positive response at the recent preliminary discussions involving trade union leaders, people's representatives and farmers in these districts.
Technical sessions would be organised by the Agency for Development of Aquaculture (ADAK) soon for MLAs and other people's representatives to explain the technical aspects of the programme.
The State Government would bring the proposal for assistance from the Japanese Government. "Preliminary discussions with Japanese consultants were quite positive."
According to the Minister, the Fisheries Management Society (FIRMA) is collaborating with the National Institute of Cold Water Fisheries, Nainital for taking up coldwater fisheries in the State under the Western Ghats Development Programme.
Scientists from the National Institute, who recently visited the State to identify potential locations for setting up mahaseer and trout hatcheries, had indicated that there was immense potential for coldwater fisheries in the State.
With a view to extend mussel farming in the State, ADAK is taking it up with technical help from CMFRI, Prof Thomas said.
The project would commence in Kozhikode soon and the department has already sanctioned Rs 5 lakh for the project.
A comprehensive census of fishing crafts operating in the territorial waters of the State is on.
The Government intends to re-introduce registration/licensing of crafts, which had been discontinued in 1986.
The department is currently taking up an exercise of verifying the authenticity of the `list of fishermen' maintained by the Fishermen's Welfare Fund Board.
This exercise is expected to be completed by the end of December.
Preliminary feedback indicates that 15-20 percent of those on the list are not fishermen.
Once the exercise is completed, every genuine traditional fisherman would be issued a photo-affixed identity card which would entitle him to the benefits under the various welfare schemes taken up through the department, Prof Thomas said.
The Department also proposes to set up an aqua park (ornamental fish farm and aquarium) at Ernakulam in collaboration with MPEDA and Cochin University Science and Technology at an investment of Rs 25 crore.The project proposal is to be presented at the forthcoming Global Investors' Meet for possible external investment.The Government has requested the University for transferring around 25 acres of land at Kalamassery for the purpose, the Minister said.
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