Hon’ble Minister of Fisheries, Harbour Engineering and Cashew Industries, Govt. of Kerala Smt. J. Mercy Kutty Amma visited ICAR- Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Cochin on 18th February, 2017 to get acquainted with the technological achievements of the Institute for addressing various problems related to harvest and post harvest sector in fishery in the state.
During her address to the scientists and staff of the institute, Hon’ble Minister said that the Kerala Government is giving priority for improving production of primary fishery sector setting a target of 40 percent enhancement in production. The Hon’be Minister opined that, beyond production enhancement, also employment generation has become a challenge in state fisheries sector, which can be achieved through preservation of the harvested fish and promotion of value added fish products. This may lead to improvement in state exchequer. Lauding the efforts of ICAR-CIFT scientists, the Minister expressed her desire that the Institute plays an important role for the technological advancement in those fields. In her address, Smt. J. Mercy Kutty Amma emphasized on the need to exploit the potential natural resources like water bodies for up-scaling the development process in the fisheries sector in Kerala. In this context, she cited the example of Andhra Pradesh which is promoting aquaculture in artificial water bodies for enhancing production. Expressing her concern over fish contamination, she asked for prophylactic measures to eradicate the spreading disease menace in the fishery sector. Further, the Minister said that the Government of Kerala is planning to make amendments in Kerala Marine Fisheries Regulation Act, which was implemented 36 years ago that may give emphasis on maintaining the quality and food safety issues. Being impressed with ICAR-CIFT technologies during her laboratory visit, she urged the scientists of the Institute to come up with novel technologies to improve the livelihood security of large scale fisher population of the state and expressed her desire to collaborate with ICAR-CIFT.
Earlier, Dr. C.N. Ravishankar, Director, ICAR-CIFT in his welcome address highlighted the salient achievements of the Institute and its vital role in improving the harvesting and post harvesting sector in fisheries in the country. Dr. Suseela Mathew, Head, Bio-Chemistry & Nutrition Division offered vote of thanks.