Bhubaneswar: India suffers a loss of Rs 20,000 crore per year due to the adverse effect of diseases infecting livestock, according to the government.
Diseases like foot and mouth disease (FMD) affect export potential of the livestock industry as result of trade barriers that prevent export of livestock and their products to countries free from diseases, an official statement said.
The Centre is committed to ridding the livestock population of the country with the help of research and lab facility, Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said while laying the foundation stone for International Centre for Foot and Mouth Diseases at Jatni on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the minister also announced plans of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) to provide 100% assistance for modernization of fish harbours and to formulate a national policy on welfare of fishermen.
Delivering the valedictory address at the two-day state fisheries ministers meet, Pawar said, “This will also address the issue of competitiveness of our exports and meeting the standards of importing countries.”
Mooting a national policy on welfare of fishermen to enhance production and productivity to achieve the target of 10 million tonnes by 2012, he said he has directed the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) to carry out a comprehensive study and survey of the socio-economic condition of fishermen to obtain reliable data for the purpose.
He expressed concern over fishermen’s poor-socio-economic condition. Referring to the proposal for the National Food Security Act, Pawar said there was a need to go beyond just providing subsidised rice and wheat to the poor and include pulses, edible oil, fish and other food items in the scheme.
“Production and productivity of all food items must be raised substantially to meet the goal,” he said.
On the need for creation of more fish harbours and landing centres highlighted by participants, Pawar said since the Centre provides 100% financial assistance for construction of major harbours, states should come out with proposals for extensive coverage of landing facilities.
To ensure availability of good quality seeds, the Centre would support both financially and technically the efforts of states for setting up as many hatcheries and nurseries as required, he said.
The NFDB would provide financial assistance of up to 90% to meet these objectives, he said since mere construction of hatcheries did not guarantee quality, seed certification was essential for which centre would soon circulate guidelines.
Pawar said the Centre has drafted a comprehensive legislation for regulation of fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and added it would cover the entire gamut of management of marine resources.