National Fish Farmer’s Day, observed annually on July 10th, is a special opportunity to honour and acknowledge the essential contributions of fish farmers, aquaculture industry professionals, and other stakeholders in ensuring a sustainable and prosperous fisheries sector.
The year 2023 marks a significant milestone for National Fish Farmer’s Day, as it provides an opportunity for the entire nation to recognize the immense contributions of fish farmers and their commitment to sustainable aquaculture. By adopting responsible practices and harnessing the potential of the fisheries sector, we can pave the way for a prosperous future, enhance food security, and contribute to the overall development of the nation.
National Fish Farmer’s Day is celebrated to commemorate the pioneering work of Professor Dr. Hiralal Chaudhury and his colleague Dr. K. H. Alikunhi in the Indian fisheries sector. On this day in 1957, they successfully guided induced breeding and reproduction in Indian Major Carps using the Hypophysation technique, which eventually led to a revolution in inland aquaculture.
The purpose of celebrating this day is to acknowledge the contributions made by fish farmers, aquapreneurs (businesspeople associated with aqua farming), and fishermen to the development of the nation’s fisheries sector. It also serves as an opportunity to create an ecosystem for collective thinking and discussion on sustainable fisheries resource management.
National Fish Farmer’s Day plays a crucial role in recognizing the significant role played by fish farmers in meeting the growing demand for fish protein, generating employment opportunities, and contributing to the country’s food security. It highlights their dedication and innovation in adopting modern aquaculture techniques, improving fish productivity, and conserving aquatic resources. Over the years, the fisheries sector has witnessed remarkable advancements driven by scientific research and technological interventions.
To celebrate National Fish Farmer’s Day 2023, various activities such as seminars, workshops, exhibitions, and interactive sessions will be organized across the country. These events aim to disseminate knowledge, share experiences, and foster collaboration among stakeholders. Experts and professionals from the fisheries sector will provide insights into the latest developments, research findings, and emerging trends in aquaculture.
The Government of India has consistently taken the lead in transforming the fisheries sector holistically and driving an economic upturn and prosperity through the Blue Revolution. The sector envisions enhancing production and productivity, improving quality, increasing domestic fish consumption and export trade, and creating self-employment opportunities for unemployed youth. Since 2015, the Government of India has announced cumulative investments amounting to Rs 38,572 crore.
The Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries initiative under the Blue Revolution Scheme, introduced in 2016 with an investment of Rs. 3,000 crore, has played a crucial role in advancing the fisheries sector. In the Union Budget 2018, the Finance Minister announced the establishment of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) with a corpus of Rs. 7522.48 Crore to fuel infrastructure development in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, both in marine and inland fisheries, to augment fish production.
Projects under the FIDF are eligible for loans up to 80% of the estimated or actual project cost with an interest subvention. In 2020, the Prime Minister unveiled the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), a scheme aimed at bringing about the Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of the fisheries sector in India. The scheme envisages an overall investment of Rs. 20,050 crore over a period of five years. In the Union Budget 2023-24, the Finance Minister announced a Sub-scheme under PMMSY with an investment of Rs. 6,000 crores.
The primary objective of PMMSY is to enhance fish production to an impressive 22 MMT by 2024-25 and provide employment opportunities for almost 55 lakh people in the sector. PMMSY is positioned to revolutionize the fisheries sector and improve millions of lives by emphasizing sustainable growth and development. The program also focuses on incorporating the latest innovations into fisheries and aquaculture while creating a favorable environment for private sector involvement, entrepreneurship, business model development, ease of doing business, and initiatives like start-ups and incubators.
The Department of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, Government of India, is celebrating National Fish Farmer’s Day and commemorating the remarkable achievements of the Indian fisheries sector. To mark the nine years of progress and growth in the fisheries industry, the Department is organizing the ‘Summer Meet 2023’ and the ‘Start-up Conclave’ in the beautiful city of Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, from 10th to 11th July. The ‘Summer Meet 2023’ and the ‘Start-up Conclave’ serve as platforms to showcase the noteworthy accomplishments of the Indian fisheries sector and promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the industry.
This event brings together fish farmers, researchers, industry experts, entrepreneurs, and policymakers to exchange knowledge, share experiences, and explore future prospects for the sustainable development of fisheries. The ‘Start-up Conclave’ will provide a unique platform for aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups to showcase their innovative ideas, products, and technologies in fisheries and aquaculture. This conclave aims to encourage and support new ventures that can contribute to the growth and modernization of the fisheries industry.
Approximately 10,500 fish farmers, aquapreneurs, fisher folks, professionals, officials, and scientists from across the nation are expected to participate in the event. Around 50 stalls will be exhibited, covering various aspects of fish farming, aquaculture, and related technologies. The program will feature the inauguration of the Exhibition on Fisheries Start-Ups/Fish FPOs/Fish Cooperatives, followed by the display of Achievements of the Department of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying.
There will also be a virtual inauguration of Fisheries Projects supported by the Government of India under both centrally sponsored scheme beneficiary-oriented, non-beneficiary-oriented, and central sector schemes. Additionally, there will be a virtual interaction with fishermen and fisherwomen at the inaugural sites, and the Fisheries Start-Ups Award Ceremony will take place.