Fisheries, aquaculture sectors need commercial boost: Pawar
After inaugurating new infrastructure facilities at the Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Pawar said India is the second largest producer of fish in the world after China. "We are second in aquaculture production. The fisheries sector has shown an average growth of about 6 percent over the last five years," he said.
Apart from being a major foreign exchange earner, fisheries sector is the source of livelihood for over 14 million people, Pawar observed. "We need to move towards commercial and value-based fisheries and aquaculture sectors to compete globally," he added.
The Minister said India has got vast fisheries and aquaculture resources which need to be further explored and harnessed. "We have huge marine and inland resources providing one of the richest fish germplasm in the world," he added.
Pawar, who also holds the food processing department, said need of the hour was to raise competent and skilled human resources for fisheries sector.
Fisheries is a vocational subject and hands-on experience in the field and laboratory are very essential in developing necessary skills, which should form an integral part of every course, he said.
Last year, export of fisheries was to the tune of Rs 12,000 crore. "The farming sector has performed extremely well even though economy faced problems," he said adding that production of wheat, rice and sugar had seen highest production," he said.