Aimed at developing a fishery-based entrepreneurship and creating a value chain of fish and fishery products across North East, the ICAR’s Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) in collaboration with the Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute (ATARI) Umiam, Meghalaya has started a training programme.

The programme, themed on advances in Fish Harvest and Post-Harvest Technologies, is being attended by Subject Matter Specialists from 26 Krishi Vigyan Kendras from Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya.

George Ninan, CIFT Director, emphasised on the institute’s commitment, to build a robust fish and fishery products value chain and also on fostering entrepreneurship in the fisheries sector across the north east. The collaborative effort between CIFT and ATARI, Meghalaya, signifies a crucial step towards harnessing the fishery based potential of the North-Eastern region, he said.

A.K.Mohanty, Director, ATARI said that fish production in the north eastern states has witnessed a consistent growth in the past few years and the upward trend can be attributed to the advantageous natural conditions, proactive government measures and the rising consumer demand for fish products. The average fish productivity is reported to be 1.5 tonnes per hectare per year, which is lower than the national average of 3 tonnes per hectare, which indicates room for improvement in productivity levels.

Despite the rise in production, there is still a shortage of approximately 43,000 tonnes of fish in the region. To bridge this gap, he said fish is being imported from Bangladesh and other Indian states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal.

The fisheries industry in the north eastern states, offer immense potential and opportunities for expansion. This is due to the region’s abundant water resources, diverse range of fish species, strong demand for fish, export possibilities, and chances for adopting technology, adding value, and promoting sustainable development, he added.