Smt. Mercy Kutty Amma, the Fisheries Minister of Kerala called on Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare . During the meeting, a number of important issues related to the fisheries sector in Kerala were discussed. The Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare informed that the Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry has restructured the fisheries development schemes with focused development of Marine and Inland Fishery Sectors.
Some of the important issues submitted by the Fisheries Minister of Kerala included empowerment of traditional fishers for deep sea fishing, ban on juvenile fishing, providing financial assistance for procurement of marine Ambulances, enhancement of unit cost for housing, mariculture, fishermen housing and other amenities, higher central assistance for construction and renovation of ponds, establishment of hatcheries, setting up of fisheries stations, allocation of sufficient quota for kerosene for traditional fishermen in the State of Kerala. Some of the important decisions taken by the Union Government recently were communicated during the meeting, which are as under:
1) The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is formulating a scheme for deep-sea fishing under which traditional fishermen will be provided financial support from the Government for procurement of resource specific fishing vessels and for skill up gradation. The targeted beneficiaries under the proposed scheme will be traditional fishermen group, fisheries cooperatives, and fishers associations.
2) Under the National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen (NSWF) the unit cost for fishermen housing has been revised and enhanced from Rs.75,000 to Rs.1.2 Lakh per unit in General States, and Rs.1.3 Lakh in the North Eastern and Himalayan States. The scheme has now been aligned with the unit cost at par with Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna: Rural (PMAY).
3) The Central Government contribution for the Saving-cum-Relief component under the National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen (NSWF) has been enhanced from Rs.900/- to Rs.1500/-per fisher per month during the lean / ban period of 3 months.
4) The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare will provide 50% financial assistance to the States in establishment of New Fish Seed Farms/ Hatcheries under the “Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Marine Fisheries”. Besides, a provision for promotion of Open Sea Cage Culture (Mariculture) has also beenincorporated under the proposed CSS scheme.
Shri Singh also informed that the unit cost for construction of new ponds/tanks for fish culture and renovation of existing ponds / tanks are also being enhanced. It was also informed by the Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister that Central Govt. will provide 50% financial assistance for these activities under the “Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Marine Fisheries-Neeli Kranti”.