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Sonowal for steps to augment fish production in State
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Dec 21 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has asked the Department of Fisheries to augment fish production to minimise the demand-supply gap and enable the fisheries sector to provide meaningful vocations to fish farmers and other entrepreneurs.

Chairing a meeting of the department in the conference room of the Chief Minister’s Office at Assam Secretariat here today, Sonowal asked Principal Secretary, Department of Fisheries MC Jauhari to take immediate steps to bring down the demand-supply gap and augment fish production in the State by taking up several innovative schemes.

Assam has a predominantly fish-eating population with 90 per cent of the people eating it. However, demand for fish far outweighs supply, thus creating a huge gap. It may be mentioned that the State produces 294,000 metric tonnes of fish, while the demand stands at 336,000 metric tonnes. Chief Minister Sonowal asked the department to take steps to minimise this demand-supply mismatch, adding that his government would extend all possible help in this regard.

Sonowal also pointed out that there is a huge demand for local fish in Assam and other north-eastern States and good production of the same in the State besides fulfilling the domestic demands can ensure export.

The meeting also decided that in the larger interest of development of fishery resources of the State in a coherent manner, all the beel fisheries and other water bodies in the State are to be handed over to the fishery department.

It may be noted that under the Chief Minister’s Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana, the fishery department is set to bring about convergence of the concept ‘Ghare Ghare Pukhuri, Ghare Ghare Maach’ with proper marketing of fish and revisiting the mandates of the Assam Fisheries Development Corporation and Fishfed by which contribution of the fishery sector to the State’s development has been aimed to be enhanced, which at present stands at 4.08 per cent.

Fishery Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, Principal Secretary Fishery Department MC Jauhari, Commissioner and Secretary to the Chief Minister Sanjay Lohia and a host of senior officers were present at the meeting, said an official release.

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