Rs 100cr to boost fish production

Guwahati: The state fisheries department has received Rs 100.1 crore loan from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) to construct 7,000 individual and 1,000 community tanks to boost fish production.

The loan has been sanctioned under Nabard’s Rural Infrastructure Development Fund.

“There are two components to the loan – development of individual fishery tanks and construction of community tanks,” a source said.

“Altogether 7,000 beneficiaries have been selected to develop individual fishery tanks, who will be given Rs 1.3 lakh in two instalments. A sum of Rs 30,000 will be released first to build a tank on own land. Once work progresses, the remaining amount will be released,” the source said, adding that the department has collected the beneficiaries’ account numbers. The source said the first instalment will be released within a fortnight.

“For developing community tanks, self-help groups, cooperative societies and farmers’ groups will be given Rs 30 lakh to construct ponds on 1 hectare of land. “The amount is for digging, development and input costs. We have targeted to construct 1,000 community tanks,” he said.

On monitoring, the source said, “The ponds will be photographed and geo-tagged. We have developed a software and a dedicated website for the scheme,” the source said, adding that geo-mapping of ponds is compulsory to prevent mis-utilisation of funds.

Fish production in Assam was 2.94 lakh tonnes in 2016-17, according to a report of the agriculture ministry.

RAJIV KONWAR Telegraph India

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