Department of Fisheries , Government of India organised a two-day ‘Annual Plan Preparation’ workshop from 4th to 5th January 2023 to brainstorm, share information and resolve on-ground challenges through effective and efficient planning by fisheries’ officials of all States/UTs. The workshop was chaired by Shri Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary, DoF (GoI) in presence of senior officials of Department of Fisheries (GoI), NFDB and states’ fisheries department. A total of 47 officials from 26 States/UTs attended the workshop and made it a grand success.
The workshop started with the inaugural session in which JS (IF), DoF, welcomed all dignitaries and participants. He summarised the achievements of ongoing departmental schemes namely Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), Fisheries Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) and Kisan Credit Card (KCC). He indicated that tremendous efforts have been put in by states/UTs for increasing fish production whilst gaps exist in prioritising other aspects of the fisheries’ value chain at state level. This has necessitated rectification actions to be taken up by relooking and replanning upcoming state/UT annual plans.
Joint Secretary (MF) in his address emphasized on the formalization of the fisheries sector, enhancing domestic fish consumption, introduction of performance-based incentives for value chain efficiencies and quality assurance, shifting from fresh to frozen fish, branding, digital marketing, precision aquaculture, aquaculture insurance, entrepreneurship mentoring, co-management models, low-cost modern fishing vessels, vessel monitoring system and energy efficient fishing boats.
Chief Executive, NFDB in her address highlighted the progress and achievements of sub activities of PMMSY in the states/UTs. The gaps in physical progress of states/UTs was highlighted while development of coastal fisher communities, training and capacity building, cluster development, FFPOs, convergence, river ranching, aqua parks etc were emphasized upon.
Secretary, DoF (GoI), in his inaugural speech put forth his views on the ongoing activities and urged the states/UTs to set priorities at a local level along with the priorities of the Government of India. He advised that special attention may be given to sufficient seed production-as the most basic activity to propel the sectoral activities, take on a collaborative approach amongst states and centre for activities such as installation of artificial reefs, cold-chain, MIS data management, expansion of fish markets (Fish Bazaar), promotion and marketing of frozen fish, production of required number of seed etc. Priority areas mentioned along with the strategic rationale are likely to serve as guidelines for state/UT officials to set priorities for chalking out FY 2023-25 detailed annual action plan. In addition, he emphasized, that each state/UT should evaluate their resources and current situations to formulate their detailed annual action plans.
Post the inaugural session, the States/UTs presented their physical and financial achievements in FY 2020-21 and 2021-22, highlighted on-the-ground challenges faced and overview of the annual plans for the upcoming years 2023-24 and 2024-25. The interactive session led to inter-state discussions, exchange of good practices for problem-solving along with guidance from the leadership. In its last leg of day one, the session concluded with the summary and context setting for the next day.
On the second day of the workshop, group activities were done in three different groups followed by a presentation by the group leader. The group discussion entailed a cross-pollination of thoughts, and innovative ideas to resolve on-ground challenges and issues.
The workshop focused on the formulation of strategies with the states/UTs for the Annual Action Plans (2023-24 and 2024-25).It also served as an opportunity for peer learning and interaction (amongst states/UTs) facing similar challenges. During the event, presentation and discussion on Management Information System (MIS), Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), and Single Nodal Account (SNA) were also organized to share process overview and address queries.
The event successfully concluded with an address by Joint Secretary (MF) wherein he summarized the key take-aways from the sessions and revisited the focus areas and important decisions. The workshop thus concluded with high fervor to plan and work effectively and efficiently for the overall growth and development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector.