Chandigarh: “Farmers can become atmanirbhar by crop diversification, focusing on dairy, fisheries & animal husbandry”, said Shri J P Dalal, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, Government of Haryana at the CII Conclave on Dairy and Fisheries: Making Rural India Self Reliant held today virtually. He added that Haryana has huge potential in the dairy and fisheries sector given the expanse of saline lands in the state.
Shri J P Dalal urged and extended support to the Department of Fisheries to build a world-class aquarium in Gurugram to attract tourism as well as educate the masses on aqua life. The Hon’ble Minister mentioned the emergence of the Ganaur market as a hub of fish sale and their vision to double fish exports from the current worth of INR 40-45 cr. He further invited proposals from entrepreneurs and industrialists to invest in dairy and fisheries production to reap maximum benefit from white & blue wealth.
In his Inaugural address, Dr. Rajeev Ranjan, Secretary – Department of Fisheries, Government of India opined need to support recirculating aquaculture techniques to diversify and increase production up to the new target of 220 lakh tonnes. He further added that we must work towards up-skilling and capacity building of farmers to truly realize the rural capability of our nation. He applauded the efforts of the farmers and entrepreneurs in exporting over 14 lakh tonnes of fish worth INR 46608 cr last year and urged further private participation in technological dissemination to the blue wealth. Dr. Ranjan mentioned about the immense opportunity that lies with Haryana to aquafarm with its 2.33 lakh hectare of a saline wasteland.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Tarun Sridhar, Former Secretary, Government of India, emphasized the livelihood opportunities that COVID-19 has presented to farmers and migrant laborers who have returned to their homes in the animal and fisheries sector. He quoted livestock farming as the “ATM of farmers” as it provides 4 times the return than crop farming. To secure a rural economy, he insisted on creating mixed farming models for farmers and handhold them to make India atmanirbhar. Mr. Sridhar also underlined the importance of strengthening the quality of veterinary services in the country.
Mr. Jasmohan Singh, Chairman, CII Regional Committee On Food Processing, Agriculture and Dairy & Managing Director, Frick India Ltd said that agri, dairy, fisheries, and animal husbandry is the key cornerstone of rural growth and is paramount to achieve the target of INR 5 trillion economies by 2024-25. He stressed on the fact that we must attend to the concerns and opportunities in these sectors to align with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of Making Rural India Self Reliant.
The Conclave was attended by over 180 participants from Dairy, Fisheries sector including Government officials industrialists, academicians, and farmers.