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India's first fisheries incubator inaugurated at Gurugram

New Delhi, Nov 16 (IANS) Inaugurating the country's first-of-its kind, dedicated business fisheries incubator in Haryana's Gurugram, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala on Tuesday said it will serve as a 'milestone' for the fisheries sector promoted under the central flagship Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana PMMSY.

Costing Rs 3.23 crore, the incubator -- to be known as LINAC- NCDC Fisheries Business Incubation Centre (LlFlC) - will help nurture fisheries startups under real market-led conditions.

"The incubation unit will provide hand holding 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," Rupala said.

The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), an implementing agency for the LIFIC, has identified the first batch of 10 incubatees from four states -- Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Out of them, six are from newly created Fish Farmers Producer Organisations with the support of the financial grant under the PMMSY.

"Unlike in the 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 Atmanirbharta (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," the Union Minister said.

Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying L. Murugan said the Centre would ensure that the fisheries sector does not function business as usual but help push the income of the stakeholders.

"Fisheries is a sunrise industry in India, growing at seven per cent annually. The Prime Minister has set a goal of 22 million tonnes of fish production and export to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore by 2025. It is a very tall order to be achieved within the next four years given that presently, fish production is 130 lakh tonnes and exports worth Rs 46,000 crore," he said.

Overall, there are around 30,000 cooperatives in the fisheries sector.

On the occasion, Rupala also inaugurated Sardar Patel Auditorium at the LINAC premises.