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Shabnam Kamli visits Trout Fish Farms in Srinagar

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Asks officers to explore coverage of fish livestock under Aquaculture Insurance Scheme

SRINAGAR: As part of preparations for the upcoming G20 summit likely to be hosted by J&K, Secretary of Agriculture Production Department, Shabnam Kamli, today visited the Trout Fish Farm, Laribal, Dachigamon to oversee the face-lifting of Trout Hatchery, Laribal.

Director Fisheries, Mohammad Farooq Dar, and other senior officers of the department accompanied her during the tour.

While inspecting the functioning of various units of the Trout hatchery, Secretary expressed satisfaction over the progress made in the production of quality seeds of Rainbow and Brown Trout. The Brown Trout Seed being produced on the farm is stocked in the natural water bodies of Kashmir for the conservation of this species and for attracting tourists for angling purposes.

Secretary instructed the concerned officers to prepare estimates and submit plans for the upgradation of some units of the farm which require strengthening and renovation to exploit its full potential.

Secretary visited Trout Village, Dhara, Harwan and inspected the Trout rearing units of Mohammad Akram Wani, Noorul Qamran, and Abdul Rashid and also monitored the execution work on the RAS unit of Amir Akram being constructed under PMMSY during the tour.

Director Fisheries apprised the Secretary that the department has successfully introduced fish culture in the private sector which has led to the establishment of huge infrastructures in the shape of Hatcheries, Rearing Units, Biofloc fish culture units, RAS, etc in the UT. Under different UT/CSS schemes, the department has established 1180 Carp ponds and 936 Trout rearing units. The establishment of fish farming units in the private sector has helped in providing gainful employment to the youth.

Director informed that Aquaculture in J&K is relatively a new industry that is currently undergoing expansion but despite its impressive growth, there is no suitable provision for compensation/risk cover for aquaculture losses. The recent incident of the use of bleaching powder for fish kill in the Kashmir division has caused huge financial losses to the fish farmers.

Secretary assured that issues related to loss of crop due to water quality, natural calamity, poaching, and its compensation in the form of insurance has not been addressed in a similar manner as in the agriculture crop sector as such a comprehensive insurance policy is required for fish livestock.

She opined that the absence of any insurance plan may create a sense of insecurity among budding entrepreneurs which may impact the growth of the aquaculture sector in UT.

Secretary instructed the Director to take up the matter with NFDB and explore the possibility of providing assistance to cover fish livestock under insurance so as to make the fisheries sector more vibrant and remunerative.

She impressed upon the field staff to work with utmost dedication and diligence so that the benefits of the welfare schemes can percolate to the beneficiaries. She urged upon the field functionaries and officers to provide constant handholding to the existing unit holders so that production can be enhanced. She stressed upon the officers that awareness camps should be held in the district at the Block level and Panchayat level so that people are encouraged and assisted in starting entrepreneurial ventures.

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