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INDIA - The Indian government has set itself a new target - to increase fish production by 50 per cent in just three years.

Indian Agriculture Minister, Shri Sharad Pawar, has called for harnessing the unutilised potential of fisheries in the country by application of modern technology, intensive fish culture, improving processing and marketing infrastructure and other support activities.

The minister informed that an ambitious target of 10 million tonnes fish production has been set for the eleventh plan, and to achieve that, at least 50 per cent more fish will have to be produced over the 7 million tonnes being produced per year at present.

Shri Pawar was addressing the Annual General Body Meeting of the National Fisheries Development Board, He said that the National Fisheries Development Board was formed to give focussed attention to the development of the fisheries sector and to meet the aspirations of the fishing industry.

"This meeting of the Governing Body should take stock of the development activities initiated so far and formulate suitable need specific programmes and advise on the plans and strategy for achieving the ambitious target of 10 million tonnes fish production by the end of the 11th five year plan", he said. "This means that we need to produce at least 50 per cent more fish than our present level of about 7 million tonnes."

In order to adopt a holistic approach for fisheries development in different State and Union Territories, consultative meetings are being organised with Secretaries/ Directors of various State Governments and Union Territories to prepare State specific development plans duly dovetailing the funds from Central programmes, NFDB, MPEDA, NABARD, NCDC and other development agencies.

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