Gulzar Singh Ranike, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Dairy, SC/BC Welfare, has said that the farmers of Punjab should leave the wheat-paddy cropping cycle and join the crop diversification so that the depleting underground water table is checked. He said this while addressing the gathering after inaugurating first ever two-day “Punjab Fish Mela-2016” at Punjab Agricultural University, here today.Ranike said that the farmers of Punjab are going through a rough patch because the cost of agricultural inputs have increased and the income is decreasing. He said that at present, agriculture is not a profitable venture and that is why the farmers should indulge into crop diversification and adopt subsidiary occupations. He said that fish farming is a very profitable venture and it is being fast adopted across the globe.He called upon the Punjabi youth to play important role in ushering an era of blue revolution in the state. He said that in Punjab, around 38,000 acres of land is under fish farming and it is a matter of great pride that Punjab ranks number one in terms of fish production in the country. He said that the average fish production per hectare per year of our country is three tonnes, whereas in Punjab its 6.5 tonnes. He said that while keeping in mind the benefits of fish farming, Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal had visited China some time back so that their fish farming techniques can be implemented in our state.
Mr Gulzar Singh Ranike said that for boosting fish farming in Punjab, the state government is giving 90 percent subsidy and with a cost of Rs 25 crore, 14 fish seed farms in 13 districts are upgraded. He said that these fish seed farms were earlier in pitiable condition. He said that the state government has also decided to set up these farms in those districts where these were not present. He said that for proper marketing, a fish market has been established in Ludhiana, that would benefit blue revolution in a big way. He said that similarly, fish markets are also being established in Amritsar and Bathinda.It is pertinent to mention that during this two day “Punjab Fish Mela-2016”, experts from different parts of the country are providing valuable information about fish farming.Prominent among those present on the occasion included Additional Chief Secretary Mr Mandeep Singh Sandhu, GADVASU Vice Chancellor Dr Amarjit Singh Nanda, Director Fisheries Dr Madan Mohan, Director Animal Husbandry Mr H S Sandha, Director Dairy Development Mr Inderjit Singh, ICAR’s Dr J K Jaina, Zila Parishad chairman Bhag Singh Maangarh, besides several others.