Poor response to aquaculture: official blames tedious process

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Staff Reporter

Panaji

Stating that there is lukewarm response to the schemes offered by the state government for fishermen, superintendent of Fisheries department Chandresh Haldankar has said that the benefits of the central government-sponsored schemes can be availed easily as compared to the state schemes because to avail benefits of the state schemes, a lot of procedures has to be followed and it takes a month or so for the approvals.

Speaking to this daily, Haldankar said under the state-sponsored fisheries schemes, the department has provided financial assistance to only 6 people for construction of brackish water farms, only 4 people have benefited from the financial assistance for construction of biofloc ponds scheme, whereas under the central government-sponsored scheme, only 5 people have availed financial assistance for construction of biofloc units, only one person has availed financial assistance for the construction of Recirculatory Aquaculture System (RAS) and 2 benefitted from river cage culture scheme.

Haldankar said the government is offering various schemes through the fisheries department under aquaculture including the schemes by the state government such as financial assistance for brackish water aquaculture, financial assistance for freshwater aquaculture, financial assistance for crab farming, financial assistance for mussel culture and oyster farming, financial assistance for ornamental fishing etc.

He further said that the central Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) consists of more than 100 components but the state is unable to offer all – for example, it is not possible to have the reservoir culture on a large scale in Goa as “we have just 5 reservoirs (dams) which are used for multiple purposes like agriculture, drinking, production of electricity. We haven’t started with the reservoir culture on a big scale, though we have one small unit in Canacona.”

When asked about crab farming, he said, “We did not have any applications for crab culture yet because of land issues. Recently one of the fish farmers had come up with a system called ‘vertical crab farming.’ We don’t support such a system under the scheme yet. Once the amendments are introduced, we are expecting few more
applications for vertical crab farming.”