Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala today inaugurated India’s first-of-its-kind, a dedicated business incubator to be known as LINAC- NCDC Fisheries Business Incubation Centre (LlFlC) in Gurugram, Haryana, costing Rs. 3.23 crore to nurture fisheries start-ups under real market-led conditions.
Stating that the Centre would serve as a ‘milestone’ in future for the fisheries sector which is being given a big push under the central flagship Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) launched last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rupala said that the incubation unit would provide handholding 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.
To begin with, 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 (FFPO) 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 Atmanirbhata (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,” said the Union Minister.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Dr L Murugan said that the Centre would ensure that the fisheries sector does not function business as usual but help push the income of the stakeholders. He enlisted various innovative steps taken for the first time including setting up the fisheries incubation centre for all-round development of the society.
“Fisheries is a sunrise industry in India, growing at a seven per cent rate annually. The government has set a goal of 22 million tonnes of fish production and export to the tune of Rs one 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 tones and export worth Rs 46,000 crore.
“Setting up this first of business incubation centre for fisheries in India is a step in this direction to achieve the ambitious goal. We need to work on the promotion of lots of innovation for start-ups, incentives and encourage cooperatives in the fisheries sector to achieve the targets,” said Jatindra Nath Swain, Fisheries Secretary, GoI.
“It’s a purely business centre and not merely a technology centre or accelerator,” NCDC MD Sundeep Nayak said about the newly launched Centre. He added this unique initiative would primarily focus on converting entrepreneurial ideas into business models and then support the launch of business operations. LIFIC would also handhold the enterprises while negotiating a myriad of market dynamics with the aim of resulting in sustainable revenue generation and business operations in the sector.
One critical input, credit linkage, may be provided to the successful incubators who can avail financial assistance from NCDC. Overall, there are around 30,000 cooperatives working in the fisheries sector.
Those present at the event occasion among others were former Union Fisheries Secretary, Dr Rajeev Ranjan; Aromamagic, Chair, Blossom Kochar; Chief Executive, National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Dr C Suvarna; Director, Network for the Development of Agricultural Cooperatives in Asia and the Pacific (NEDAC), Bangkok Dr KR Salin along with National President from Sahakar Bharti Ramesh Vaidya.
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