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India’s PM to launch flagship fisheries scheme, an app for farmers on Thursday

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will digitally launch the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) on Thursday and also inaugurate the eGopala App, a comprehensive breed improvement marketplace and information portal for the direct use of farmers.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Office said that Modi will also launch several other initiatives in the fisheries and animal husbandry sectors in Bihar, a state which is heading for the assembly polls in October-November.

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The PMMSY is a flagship scheme for focused and sustainable development of the fisheries sector in the country with an estimated investment of Rs. 20,050 crore for its implementation during 2020-21 to 2024-25 as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package.

The investment of Rs. 20,050 crore under PMMSY is the highest ever in the fisheries sector, the PMO said.

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The project in Bihar envisages investment of Rs 1,390 crore with the central share of Rs 535 crore and the additional fish production target pegged at three lakh tons.

During the current fiscal, the Union government has sanctioned Bihar’s proposal costing Rs 107 crore.

Modi will also announce the establishment of a fish brood bank at Sitamarhi and of aquatic disease referral laboratory at Kishanganj, for which assistance has been provided under the PMMSY.

“These facilities will help in enhancing production and productivity of fish by ensuring timely availability of quality and affordable fish seed for the fish farmers and address the need for disease diagnosis as well as water and soil testing facilities,” the statement said.

The e-Gopala app, it added, is a comprehensive breed improvement marketplace and information portal for direct use of farmers.

At present no digital platform is available in the country for farmers managing livestock including buying and selling of disease free germplasm in all forms, availability of quality breeding services and guiding farmers for animal nutrition, treatment of animals using appropriate medicine.

There is no mechanism to send alerts on due date for vaccination, pregnancy diagnosis and calving among other issues and inform farmers about various government schemes and campaigns in the area.

The e-Gopala app will provide solutions to farmers on all these aspects, the PMO said.

The prime minister will also inaugurate one-unit fish feed mill at Madhepura and two units of ‘Fish on Wheels’ assisted at Patna under ‘blue revolution’. He will also interact with the beneficiaries on the occasion.

Among other launches by Modi is the comprehensive fish production technology centre at Dr Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University in Pusa in Bihar.

The centre, with facilities for seed production technology and demonstration unit technology for fish, referral laboratory and diagnostic testing, will facilitate in boosting fish production and assist in capacity building of fish farmers, the PMO said.

The PMMSY aims at enhancing fish production by an additional 70 lakh tonne by 2024-25, increasing fisheries export earnings to Rs 1,00,000 crore by 2024-25, doubling of incomes of fishers and fish farmers, reducing post-harvest losses from 20-25 per cent to about 10 per cent and generation of additional 55 lakhs direct and indirect gainful employment opportunities in fisheries sector and allied activities.

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