The standard operating procedures (SOPs) for extending the benefits of the Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) to all fishermen were getting ready, Union Minister of State L Murugan said here on Sunday.
"Our government is already issuing Kisan Credit Cards to farmers and we are working for extending that facility to fishermen too every fisherman will be given the benefit of KCC soon," the Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, told reporters after reviewing the activities of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB).
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"This (KCC) facility has to be extended to all fishermen. Every fisherman has to get this facility and we are working on that and very soon the fishermen will get the KCC. Under Parshottam Rupala ji's (Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying ) guidance, we are taking it forward, he said adding the SOPs are getting ready the proposals are in advance consideration.
The government has plans to increase export of marine food products and five fishing harbours in the country would be modernised to international-level with facilities for processing units, cold storage among other facilities, Murugan said adding that the foundation stone would be laid soon for the five fishing harbours. He further said a seaweed park would come up in Tamil Nadu and more such parks would be set up across the country.
It is a new concept and our government is encouraging seaweed cultivation. Seaweed culturing is being promoted across the country in a big way and steps are being taken to identify places in the country where such culturing units can be set up, he added. Seaweed culture and cage aqua culture are the new age techniques that the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) is actively promoting for empowerment of fishermen, moreso women, he said.
There is a great demand for seaweed, which has medicinal properties, in India and abroad. Seaweed cultivation helps in empowerment of the fishing community, especially women, he said. While encouraging new-age fishing techniques, the government is supporting inland fishing and is keen on increasing export of fish through various projects proposed under the PMMSY , the Minister said.
Earlier, Murugan virtually launched the Giant Freshwater Prawn Hatchery established at College of Fisheries, Dr Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University (RPCAU), Dholi, Bihar, under the NFDB-funded project. NFDB Chief Executive C Suvarna and other officials also spoke.