Hyderabad, Sept. 9
With an objective of achieving a `Blue Revolution', Mr Sharad Pawar, Union Minister for Agriculture, on Saturday inaugurated the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) here to realise the full potential of fisheries and aquaculture.
With headquarters at Hyderabad, the board would co-ordinate activities of various agencies and State Ministries, besides providing modern tools of research and development.
Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the board here on Saturday, Mr Pawar said it was very important to address the deficiencies in linkages and build capacity to take care of natural vagaries and market fluctuations.
Proper post-harvest handling, reduction of losses and hygienic primary processing also needed attention.
The governing body of the board, which would be chaired by the Union Agriculture Minister, would have 30 Ministers holding fisheries portfolios of various States and Union Territories.
It would also comprise officials and chiefs of various departments and agencies.
The Centre has allocated the board a sum of Rs 2,100 crore for the period 2006-12. For the current fiscal, Rs 151 crore would be spent on board activities.
Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, has announced that 15 acres of land would be allocated at Rajendranagar for construction of NFDB headquarters and a well-equipped fish farm.
The board has set a target of annual pond fish productivity of five tonnes a hectare with 50,000 hectares of new area.
A Rs 620-crore plan has been chalked out to generate an additional fish production of 26.5 lakh tonnes. Reservoir fishing would be developed with a spend of Rs 400 crore with a target of 150 kg a hectare annually in 15 lakh hectares.
The board would also look at developing processing and marketing facilities.