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The ‘Farmers and Department of Fisheries (DoF) conclave was held on 23rd February 2024 as part of the 13th Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum (13th IFAF) at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre in Kolkata, West Bengal. The conclave brought together a diverse array of stakeholders, experts, and policymakers to deliberate on strategies for the upliftment and enhancement of fish production and productivity.

The event, organized against the backdrop of increasing demand for fish and challenges faced by the sector/ fish farmers/ fishers, focused on innovative approaches, government schemes, and collaborative efforts. Dr. A. K. Das, Principal Scientist, ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore welcomed the panel experts, farmers and extension/ development officers participated in the programme.

The conclave commenced with a comprehensive overview of the various schemes launched by the central and state governments to boost fish production and support farmers. Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), a flagship scheme to bring about Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of fisheries sector in India.Dr. L. N. Murthy, Chief Executive of National Fisheries Development Board, Hyderabad addressed the farmers on PMMSY supports to modernize and strengthen the value chain, enhance traceability, and establish a robust fisheries management framework while simultaneously ensuring the socio-economic welfare of fishers and fish farmers.

The officials from State Fisheries Department of Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal took part and exchanged views with the experts. Dr. H. N. Dwivedi, Director of Fisheries, Govt. of Jharkhand discussed research and development efforts for stock improvement in the reservoir ecosystem, including cage aquaculture and low-cost fish feed using locally available ingredients.

While appreciating the ICAR-CIFRI initiatives in the reservoirs of Jharkhand through cage aquaculture, Dr. Dwibedi further urged to link research institutes with state departments through more technological interventions that would help increase fish production and doubling farmers’ income. Experts from different field of fisheries discussed various government schemes for the welfare of fish farmers in the conclave. More than 300 farmers were participated in the programme.

The conclave was held under the overall leadership of Dr. B. K. Das, Convener of 13th IFAF and Director of ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore. The discussions and views exchanged during the conclave are intended to inspire and guide fish farmers across the country and promote culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the sector.

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