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New Delhi, September 10, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the PM Matsya Sampada Yojana, e-Gopala App and several initiatives linked to studies and research in fisheries production, dairy, animal husbandry and agriculture in Bihar through video conferencing today.
Speaking on the occasion, Modi said the motive behind all these schemes launched today was to empower the villages and make India self-reliant (Aatma Nirbhar Bharat) in the 21st century.
The Matsya Sampada Yojana was also being launched for the same purpose. It will cover 21 States with an investment of Rs 20,000 crore to be spent in the next 4-5 years. Out of this, projects worth Rs 1,700 crores were launched today.
Under this scheme, several facilities were inaugurated in Patna, Purnia, Sitamarhi, Madhepura, Kishanganj and Samastipur.
The scheme provides for new infrastructure, modern equipment and access to new markets to the fisherfolk, along with increased opportunities for fish farming and other means.
Modi said this was the first time, after independence, that such a major scheme was launched for the fisheries sector. Keeping in mind the importance of the sector and to exclusively deal with various issues concerning fisheries, a separate Ministry was created at the Centre, he said.
The goal was also to double fish exports in the coming 3-4 years. It will create millions of new employment opportunities in the fisheries sector. “After interacting with my friends in the sector today, my confidence has gone up,” he added.
Much of the fish farming depends on the availability of clear water and the Mission Clean Ganga will be of help. The fisheries sector is also set to benefit from the work being done on river transport in the areas around the Ganga river. Mission Dolphin, announced on August 15 this year, will also have its impact on the fisheries sector.
Lauding the work done by the State Government to provide safe drinking water supply to every household, he said in 4-5 years only 2% houses in Bihar were linked to water supply connections and that now more than 70% had access to safe drinking water. Bihar was also getting support from the Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission.
Even in this time of the COVID pandemic, about 60 lakh houses in Bihar have been given tap water supply connection which was a really big achievement. “This is as an example of how the work in our villages continued during the crisis when almost everything in the country was stopped. It is the strength of our villages that despite the pandemic, food grains, fruits, vegetables and milk continued to reach the mandis and dairies without any shortage.
Not only this, but the dairy industry has also made record purchases despite this difficult situation. The PM Kisan Samman Nidhi has also directly transferred money to the bank accounts of more than 10 crore farmers of the country, especially about 75 lakh farmers in Bihar.
This work was also praiseworthy because Bihar has faced floods bravely along with the pandemic. Both the state and the central government made efforts to complete the relief work at a fast pace, he added.
He stressed the benefits of the scheme of free ration and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan to reach every needy person in Bihar and every migrant family that returned home. The scheme of free ration has been extended up to Deepawali and Chhath Puja.
Several of the workers who have returned from the cities due to the COVID crisis were moving towards animal husbandry. They were getting support from State and Central Government schemes.
The Government was constantly making efforts to expand the country's dairy sector by introducing new products and innovations so that the farmers and cattle breeders get more income. Along with this, the focus was on improving the quality of the livestock, to maintain cleanliness and health and access to nutritious food.
With this goal, a free vaccination campaign was launched today to vaccinate more than 50 crore livestock to prevent the foot and mouth disease and brucellosis. Provision has also been made under different schemes to provide better fodder for the animals.
Mission Gokul was underway to develop better indigenous breeds in the country. A countrywide artificial insemination program was started a year ago and Phase I was completed today.
The Prime Minister said Bihar was now becoming a major centre for the development of quality indigenous breeds. The dairy sector will be strengthened with modern facilities built in Purnia, Patna and Barauni under the National Gokul Mission. The centre at Purnia was one of the largest in India. This will greatly benefit not only Bihar but a large part of eastern India. The centre will also give a further boost to the development and conservation of indigenous breeds of Bihar like 'Bachhaur' and 'Red Purnia'.
“Usually a cow gives birth to one child in a year. But with the help of IVF technology, many calves are possible in a year. Our goal is to reach every village with this technology,” he added.
Along with the good breed of animals, the correct scientific information about their care was also equally important. The e-Gopala app will be an online digital medium that will help the farmers to choose better quality livestock and get freedom from middlemen. This app will give all the information related to cattle care, from productivity to its health and diet.
When this work is completed, inserting the animal Aadhaar number in the e-GOPALA app will give all the information related to that animal easily. This will make it easier for cattle owners to buy and sell livestock.
Modi stressed the need to adopt scientific methods and build modern infrastructure in the villages for rapid development of sectors like agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries.
He said that very few people know that the Pusa Institute in Delhi refers to Pusa town near Samastipur in Bihar. During the time of colonial rule itself, a national level Agricultural Research Centre was set up at Pusa in Samastipur. He praised visionary leaders like Dr Rajendra Prasad and Karpoori Thakur for carrying this tradition forward after independence.
Taking inspiration from these efforts, Modi said, in 2016 the Dr Rajendra Prasad University of Agriculture was recognized as a Central University. Courses were expanded extensively in the university and the affiliated colleges. Taking this further, a new building of the School of Agri-Business and Rural Management was inaugurated. Also, foundation stones for new hostels, stadiums and guest houses have been laid.
Considering the modern needs of the agricultural sector, three Central Agricultural Universities are set up in the country compared to only one 5-6 years ago. In Bihar, Mahatma Gandhi Research Centre was inaugurated and it was working on, among others, to develop means to save farmland from annual floods.
Similarly, the Regional Research and Training Centre for Fish in Motipur, the Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Centre at Motihari and several others were established to connect agriculture with science and technology.
The Prime Minister said clusters of food processing industries and research centres should be set up near villages. “With this, we can achieve the motto of Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan and Jai Anusandhan,” he added.
The Central Government has set up a Rs 1 Lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Development Fund for creating special infrastructure and providing support to FPOs, Cooperative Groups to develop storage, cold storage and other facilities, he added.
Even Women’s SHGs (self-help groups) were getting good support that has increased 32 times in the past 6 years. Efforts were being made to rope in all villages in the country as engines of growth to make India self-reliant, Modi said.