Agriculture Minister P. Pulla Rao said that instead of focusing only on agriculture, farmers would also be encouraged to convert part of their farm land in low lying areas into fish ponds to get more income. An income of Rs.1.5 lakh to Rs.2 lakh per acre could be generated through pisciculture, he said.
Mr Pulla Rao who held a review meeting with Fisheries department officials said that while the fisheries sector earned a revenue of Rs.17,000 crore and produced 17 lakh tonnes of fish and prawns last year, they set a target to double the production and increase the turnover to Rs.60,000 crore in five years, TheHindu reports.
He said that last year while agriculture income was Rs.34,000 crore, horticulture accounted for Rs.34,000 crore, fisheries, 17,000 crore and livestock, Rs.30,000 crore.
The farmers would be given a subsidy to take up aquaculture through the National Fish Development Board and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. Fish seed worth Rs.9 crore was already released into reservoirs, minor, major irrigation tanks.
Help would be extended to fisheries societies, panchayats to increase fish production and funds would be released through NFDB to construct fish marketing centres in municipalities. Mini-vans would also be provided for mobile marketing, he added.