Mini Mission - II: Critical Infrastructure Development
The Meghalaya State Aquaculture Mission aims at a large expansion of area under fish ponds besides developing fish production on the existing water bodies. The total area planned for expansion of individual ponds is 10000 hectares. Besides this, the Mission aims at utilising all the marshy and swampy lands and bheels for the development of fisheries. In these water bodies, the available natural grasses are sufficient and there is no need to give supplementary feed. Similarly, fish can also be grown in other water bodies like reservoirs and lakes without any other investment except stocking fingerlings.
Marshy Productivity per hectare of water area depends mainly on seed, feed and health care. The Mini- Mission II focuses on the provision of infrastructure needed for the development of new water area, besides bridging the existing gap. The infrastructure required can be classified into pre and post-harvest infrastructure. Seed, feed and health care are the items in pre-harvest infrastructure, and storage, transport and marketing are considered as post-harvest infrastructure. However, at the present stage of development, there is a need to create only some of the items of post-harvest infrastructure. This chapter focuses on the creation of critical infrastructure.
Lack of health care facilities is another constraint in improving the productivity in the fisheries sector. Section IV deals with the issue of providing health care for which two laboratories will be established in the State. Section V focuses on the important post-harvest infrastructure. At present, there is an urgent need only for equipment (tools, kits, nets and boats) and markets. There are about 50 fishermen cooperatives in the State and most of them are in a dormant state. The Mission will strengthen and make them active. Besides this, the Mission also attempts to strengthen the Fish Farmers’ Development Agency, the implementing agency of the activities of the Mission. Section VI provides a brief summary and findings of the chapter.