The fisheries sector is a direct source of livelihood for more than 20 million fishers and fish farmers and contributes INR 1.75 trillion annually to the gross value added to India’s economy. Considering the present and upcoming growth and potential in the fisheries sector in India, PM Matsya Sampada Yojana scheme aims to bring the Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development in this sector. It also helps to modernise and strengthen the value chain, enhance traceability and establish a robust fisheries management framework, and, at the same time, ensure the socio-economic welfare of fishers and fish farmers.
Considering the importance of the fisheries sector, GOI rolled out an ambitious plan for its development named PM Matsya Sampada Yojana in 2020, with the ultimate goal of the scheme to double fishers’ income and address the challenges in the sector.
Focussing on the sustainable development of India’s fisheries sector, the scheme was launched with an estimated investment of Rs. 20,050 crores for its implementation during a period of 5 years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25 in all States/Union Territories. Under this, the government aims to help reduce post-harvest loss from 20–25% to 10%, double the incomes of fishers and fish farmers and generate an additional 55 lakhs of direct and indirect employment opportunities.
With the increasing development of fisheries in India’s “agriculture-allied sectors”, GOI has taken various steps from time to time to cater for its rising demand. According to the statistics, the fisheries sector provides livelihood to more than 2.8 crores of fishers and fish farmers at the primary level and several more along the fisheries value chain. According to PIB, in recent years, this sector has shown impressive growth with an average annual growth rate of almost 11% (2014-15 to 2018-19), and the fish production in the country has registered an average annual growth of about 8% during the same period.
The Aims and Objectives of the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) are:
(a) Harnessing of fisheries potential in a sustainable, responsible, inclusive and equitable manner.
(b) Enhancing fish production and productivity through expansion, intensification, diversification and productive utilisation of land and water.
(c) Modernising and strengthening of the value chain – post-harvest management and quality improvement.
(d) Doubling fishers and fish farmers’ incomes and generation of employment.
(e) Enhancing contribution to Agriculture GVA by boosting fish production to 220 lakh tonnes by 2024-2025 and increasing exports by doubling fisheries exports from Rs. 46,663 crores to Rs. 1 lakh crores by 2025.
(f) Social, physical and economic security for fishers and fish farmersAcc to Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying.
(g) Robust fisheries management and regulatory framework.
The scheme will be implemented through a three-tier structure viz. (i) Central Level, (ii) State Level, and (iii) District Level and will be monitored by a National Steering Committee (NSC) and a National Executive Committee (NEC) under the chairmanship of the Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying.
PM Matsya Sapmada Yojana also follows two funding patterns –
Central Sector Scheme (CS) :
- The entire project/unit cost will be borne by the Central government (i.e. 100% central funding).
- Wherever direct beneficiary oriented, i.e. individual/group activities are undertaken by the entities of the central government, including the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), the central assistance will be up to 40% of the unit/project cost for the General category and 60% for SC/ST/Women category.
Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS): For the Non-beneficiary oriented sub-components/activities under the CSS component to be implemented by the States/UTs, the entire project/unit cost will be shared between the Centre and State as detailed below:
- North Eastern & Himalayan States: 90% Central share and 10% State share.
- Other States: 60% Central share and 40% State share.
- Union Territories (with the legislature and without legislature): 100% Central share.
The implementation was a challenging part, but with the involvement of various stakeholders and organisations, this scheme showed a tremendously positive outlook and motivated further to align with the same procedure. Here are some positive steps in this roadmap to implement this plan at ground root levels.
- In FY20, institutes such as the Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical & Engineering Training (CIFNET) expanded their mission to train fishermen from the coastal states and union territories through a capacity-building training programme under the PMMSY.
- In March 2021, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University became the first Indian university to receive fishery project funds under the PMMSY worth Rs. 139.05 lacs (US$ 190.40 thousand) to promote low-density intensive aquaculture technologies in the region through integrated modules for research, demonstration and skills development, such as the circulating aquaculture system (RAS) and Biofloc aquaculture.
- As part of other developments in the Indian fisheries sector, in April 2021, Manipur’s State Fisheries Minister, Mr S. Rajen Singh, announced that fish farms maintained by the state government would be leased to interested fish farmers in a public-private partnership (PPP) model to provide employment and income opportunity in the state.
- Enhanced investment in the value chain:
The highest-ever Investment in the Fisheries sector under PMMSY is made of Rs 30,572 crores under various schemes and programmes, namely Blue Revolution, Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) and Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojna.
- Technological Infusion:
PMMSY adds to the value chain through technology infusion and optimal water management to achieve ‘more crop per drop’. For this, Rs. 2,841 crore investment has been planned for the expansion, intensification and diversification of Aquaculture
- Policy support:
PMMSY promotes the Make in India policy, which includes the modernization of fishing vessels as well as Low-cost indigenous fishing vessels and the making of Mother’s vessels.
- Financial inclusion: for fishermen, fish farmers and other stakeholders
In FY 2018-19, the Government of India extended Kisan Credit Card (KCC) facility to fishers & fish farmers to help them meet their working capital and short-term credit needs. Other financial inclusion initiatives for fishers and fish farmers are:
- Vessel Insurance
- Group Accident Insurance Scheme for Fishers (GAIS)
- Alternative livelihood and entrepreneurship:
Under this scheme, 25 per cent of marine fishermen will shift to mariculture in the next 10 years. A total of Rs. 1276 crore investment is planned for promoting cage culture and seaweed cultivation, whereas seaweed cultivation will generate large-scale employment for coastal fisherwomen. Rs. 750 crores to be invested in developing 100 coastal fishing villages to promote sustainable fishing practices, reduce environmental stress and improve the socio-economic condition of coastal fishermen.
- Productive utilisation of land and water:
- Rs. 576 crore investments planned for productive utilisation of saline and alkaline affected lands for aquaculture.
- Development of aqua hub with end-to-end linkages for promotion of exports.
- Rs.520 crore investments under PMMSY for developing 10 lakh hectares of reservoirs and wetlands for fisheries in the next 5 years.
- Employment generation and livelihood:
55 lakh employment opportunities will be created through PMMSY- 15 lahks in direct fishing & 40 lahks in allied activities; on the other hand, 6 lakh families will be provided livelihood and nutritional support during the fish ban/lean period both in marine and land areas.
- Doubling Export
PMMSY aims at doubling fisheries exports from Rs. 46,663 crores to Rs. 1 lakh crore by 2025. The special focus is on clusters, species diversification, promotion of value-added products, infrastructure and logistics support, marketing and promotion of brand India.
During any scheme implementation process, the government faces many on-ground issues. Some have technical issues, others have infrastructure issues, and the list continues.
In the PMMSY, there exists a lack of reliable databases relating to aquatic and fisheries resources. Food safety issues are present wherever the fishery uses formalin and ammonia in fish. Due to poverty, fishermen are not able to use the latest technology and still rely on traditional fishing.
The lack of required infrastructure and lack of cold storage facilities in their boats renders fishermen unable to provide fresh fish, which affects the quality of fish and ultimately results in smaller income.
Marine pollution, such as oil spills, sewage disposal etc., is detrimental to fish production, and this degrades their quality and causes diseases in humans.
Continuous boundary disputes with Sri Lanka further add to the root issues.
- Diversification of marine fishing activities can be done to tap the deep sea and under-utilised resources.
- Improving governance through networking of all line departments/organisations dealing with fisheries under a single agency to boost the communication process within departments.
- The socio-economic welfare of fisher folks can be improved by revamping FFDAs and involvement of Cooperative Societies and Self Help Groups (SHGs) so that they can sustain themselves long-term in this sector.
- Improving marketing infrastructure and value addition will be an add-on to solve the issues.
- And most importantly, usage of the expertise of scientific institutions and fishers to optimise fishing efforts and implement measures to check resource depletion and ensure sustainability.
PMMSY is a major blue sector reform which will enhance efficiency and productivity in the sector and eventually will have a trickle-down effect on the economy. This will increase the average annual growth of fish production to 9%, increase fish exports to 1 lakh cr in 2024-25 and increase employment generation to 55 lakhs in 2024-25.
This scheme is a way to achieve our true potential of natural resources with the help of scientific and technological practices and the rejuvenation of water bodies through a river and sea ranching programme, which can bring India to the top of the global map in terms of productivity and provide robust growth to the country’s GDP.
- Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana | Department of Fisheries, MoCIT, GoI. (n.d.). Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana | Department of Fisheries, MoCIT, GoI. https://pmmsy.dof.gov.in/
- Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) | IBEF. (n.d.). India Brand Equity Foundation. https://www.ibef.org/government-schemes/pradhan-mantri-matsya-sampada-yojana
- Factsheet Details: (n.d.). Factsheet Details: https://pib.gov.in/FactsheetDetails.aspx?Id=148557
Disha Sirohi is a research intern at IMPRI. She has completed her master’s in Economics from Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore.
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