[Answered] Discuss the significance of the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) in the context of India’s Blue Economy. Analyze its impact on the fisheries sector and its potential to transform the livelihoods of the fishing community.

Introduction: Describe PMMSY.

Body: Significance & its impact on fisheries sector and livelihood of fishing community.

Conclusion: Way forward

PMMSY is a flagship scheme for focused and sustainable development of the fisheries sector in the country with an estimated investment of ₹20,050 crore for its implementation during 2020-21 to 2024-25 as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package. The PMMSY aims at enhancing fish production by an additional 220 lakh tonne by 2024-25, increasing fisheries export earnings to ₹1 lakh crore by 2024-25. It aims to boost production and exports in the fisheries sector as part of the government’s aim to double farmers’ income.

Significance of PMMSY in India:

  • Neel Kranti Mission: PMMSY is integral to the vision of the Blue Revolution mission to achieve economic prosperity for the country and the fishers and fish farmers as well as contribute towards food and nutritional security through full potential utilization of water resources for fisheries development in a sustainable manner, keeping in view the bio-security and environmental concerns.
  • Job generation: PMMSY aims to bring about the ‘Blue Revolution’ through sustainable and responsible development of the fisheries sector in India. It aims to generate about 55 lakh direct and indirect employment opportunities in the fisheries sector over the next five years i.e. (2020-21 to 2024-25).
  • Women empowerment: PMMSY recognizes the role of women in the fisheries sector and promotes their active participation. It provides opportunities for women to engage in various activities along the value chain, from fishing to processing and marketing, thereby empowering them economically.

What is its impact on the fisheries sector & livelihoods of the fishing community?

  • Addressing critical issues in fisheries: From fish production, productivity, and quality to technology, post-harvest infrastructure, and marketing, PMMSY began to address significant gaps in the fisheries value chain. The following were listed as important strategic priority areas: marine fisheries, inland fisheries, fishermen’s welfare, infrastructure, and post-harvest management; cold water fisheries; ornamental fisheries; aquatic health management; and seaweed culture.
  • Aquapreneur culture: PMMSY has infused new energy in the fisheries sector by infusing new talent, and young minds with technological spirit by implementing new methods of fish rearing. Fisheries have been expanded to non-traditional areas like Rajasthan & Haryana where farmers are successfully converting their saline wastelands into wealth lands through aquaculture.
  • Alternate livelihood for rural Indians:  PMMSY has empowered fisherwomen to explore remunerative options and alternative livelihoods, such as ornamental fisheries, pearl culture, and seaweed cultivation. E.g. of Kashmir women young women are efficiently rearing cold water rainbow trout using a recirculatory aquaculture system.
  • Enhanced production: India is currently ranked among the top three nations in the world for fish and aquaculture production, and it exports more shrimp than any other country. This leap in production is on account of several steps like recently launched ₹127-crore Seaweed Park in Tamil Nadu, 900 fish feed plants, and 755 hatcheries have been set up under PMMSY which is supporting research and genetic improvement of Indian White Shrimp at Chennai, development of specific pathogen-free brood stock, and domestication of tiger shrimp in the Andaman Islands.

Conclusion:

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana is a crucial step in harnessing India’s Blue Economy potential by promoting sustainable growth in the fisheries and aquaculture sector.

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