Mini Mission 1 : Area and Productivity Expansion
Through the Meghalaya State Aquaculture Mission 1.0 (MSAM) the state has brought in an additional water area of 1808.80 hectaresbetween2012-2017. The state through creation of individual ponds has uplifted the livelihoods of the rural people and provided employment to the local youth. The state still needs to develop more water area to meet the increasing demand of fish. Under MSAM 2.0 it is sought to assist a minimum water area starting from 0.05 Hectare to a maximum water area of 1.0 Hectare to encourage more participation of the beneficiaries under the Mission. Construction of new ponds will be implemented mostly in the individual lands, community lands (on lease) etc. Meghalaya has vast land areas under the control of the village communities. The people of the state exhibit strong community engagement in fish capture in the rivers. If this takes place in the culture, rather than capture from the rivers, it will protect the indigenous fish species from extinction. The state has many untapped resources from the reservoirs and lakes. The state also has gained momentum from the practice of paddy-cum-fish culture. The water used for agriculture is also utilized for fish culture.
Production of fish in rice fields is almost as old as the practice of paddy cultivation itself. As water stagnates in the fields for paddy culture, fishes which naturally occur in the nearby tanks and pools enter the paddy fields and grow there along with paddy until harvest time. This type of fish production dates back from very early days, even though it was based on capture rather than culture. Rice and fish exist at some level together for food particularly in South East Asian countries and there are age old systems prevalent for their combined cultivation in India.