Fresh initiatives to empower farmers in India’s Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fishery sectors
As part of Aazadi Ka Amrit Mahostav, there is now a nationwide AHDF KCC campaign by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying (FAHD).
In order to expand the benefit of Kisan Credit Card to all eligible animal husbandry, dairy and fishery farmers in the country, the FAHD ministry, and the Department of Financial Services (DFS) are organizing a “Nationwide AHDF KCC Campaign” from 15th November 2021 to 15th February 2022.
The circular conveying the detailed guidelines for organizing this campaign has been issued to States on 10.11.2021.The necessary instructions to banks as well as State Government have also been issued by D/o Financial Services.
Livestock sector is crucial to the Indian economy today, comprising one third of the agriculture and allied sector GVA and having over 8% CAGR(Compound Annual Growth Rate).
At the same time, Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries activities play a significant role in generating farmer income, particularly among the landless, small and marginal farmers and women, besides providing cheap and nutritious food to millions of people.
It is need of the hour to provide reverential recognition to landless, small and marginal farmers and women involved in Animal Husbandry activities in the country and meet their institutional credit requirement for working capital needs through KCC so as to tap the potential of the sector and increase employment generation and income.
A Special Drive was organized last year, from 1st June 2020 to 31st December 2020, by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying in association with Department of Financial Services, for providing AHDF KCC to eligible dairy farmers of Milk Cooperatives and Milk Producer Companies.
As an outcome over 14 lakh fresh AHDF KCC has been sanctioned. However, since there are nearly 10 crore AHD farmers across the country, there is ample scope for expansion of this exercise beyond dairy cooperatives to cover other eligible dairy farmers as well as other animal husbandry activities.
Incidentally, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala inaugurated last week the country’s first-of-its kind, dedicated business incubator to be known as LINAC- NCDC Fisheries Business Incubation Centre (LlFlC) in Haryana’s Gurugram costing Rs. 3.23 crore to nurture fisheries start-ups under real market-led conditions.
Stating that the Centre will serve as a ‘milestone’ in future for the fisheries sector which is being given a big push under the central flagship Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) launched last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rupala said that the incubation unit will provide handholding such as training, converting entrepreneurial ideas into business models and doling out seed money to the new as well as existing business entrepreneurs keen to make big in the segment.
To begin with, the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), an implementing agency for the LIFIC, has identified the first batch of ten incubatees from four states—Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Out of them, 6 are from newly-created Fish Farmers Producer Organizations with the support of the financial grant under the PMMSY.
“Unlike in dairy sector, cooperative societies are yet to make their presence felt in the fisheries segment. That is why a separate Ministry of Cooperation has been established so that cooperatives in various sectors including fisheries get a boost and help attain the Prime Minister’s vision of achieving Atmanirbhata (self-reliance). Also, in this direction, we will soon start a drive to provide credit cards on the line of Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs) to the fishermen and those involved in the livestock business as well,” shared the Union Minister.
Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Dr L Murugan said that the Centre would ensure that the fisheries sector does not function business as usual but help push the income of the stakeholders. He enlisted various innovative steps taken for the first time including setting up of the fisheries incubation centre under the guidance of the Prime Minister for all round development of the society.
Fisheries is a sunrise industries in India, growing at 7 percent rate annually. The Prime Minister has set a goal of 22 million tonnes of fish production and export to the tune of Rs one lakh crore by 2025. It is a very tall order to be achieved within next four years given that presently, fish production is 130 lakh tones and export worth Rs 46,000 crore.
“Setting up this first of business incubation centre for fisheries in India is a step in this direction to achieve the ambitious goal. We need to work on promotion of lots of innovation for startups, incentives and encourage cooperatives in the fisheries sector to achieve the targets,” said Jatindra Nath Swain, Union Fisheries Secretary.
Overall, there are around 30,000 cooperatives in the fisheries sector.