Kadapa: The Andhra Pradesh government is aiming to provide fish to every household and increase consumption to help increase the income of aqua farmers.
The government will set up aqua hubs and reach quality aqua products to consumers at affordable prices. An aqua hub for fish will be set up and fish marketing units sanctioned on subsidy basis. Applications are invited for setting up of Fish Marketing Units within each Secretariat.
Producer associations are formed with the involvement of aqua farmers. Initially, the hubs will come up in Kadapa district. Live fish will be supplied to consumers after lifting them from farmers. Fisheries authorities and farmer producer associations, traders and private individuals will be involved in the project.
The government aims to set up an aqua hub for each constituency. Large cities will be selected in the first phase. In addition to Kadapa, one more town will be selected in the district to start aqua hubs. Some Rs 5.48 crore would be required for setting up each aqua hub.
About 1,000 square yards will be required for each hub. The government will provide 60 per cent subsidy for SC and ST women and 40 per cent for others.
The government would do the construction of these hubs to ensure uniformity. Designs are ready. Each hub will have refrigerated rooms as also facilities for processing, marketing, a restaurant as also live fish tank to store aqua products.
The fisheries department is taking steps to set up mini fish vending centers in every village and ward secretariat in the district.
A public store will be set up for every 2,000 people to sell things, in addition to the aqua hub. The shop will cost around Rs1.25 lakh. Fisheries department will provide assistance by way of arranging loans from banks.
In addition to fish from the reservoirs in the district, there will be the opportunity to sell fish and shrimp raised elsewhere, through the local hub. Purchasing directly from farmers without intermediaries allows hub operators to ensure sale quality items at lower price.
District fisheries deputy Director Avva Nagraja told Deccan Chronicle that two aqua hubs would be set up in the district. Two kiosks, live fish outlets and public bazaars will come into being to connect the two hubs.
Not only those already in the aqua business, but newcomers too may apply. The hub network would be expanded at the rate of one per constituency. “We are planning to provide fish to every household and people should also be inclined to take good fortified fish as food.”