Fisheries sector is one of the fast growing sectors contributing to GSDP of the State as well as generating income and employment. Fisheries sector contributes 3.47 percent of GSDP from agriculture and 0.6 percent to the GSDP during 2014-15 at current prices. The sector aims at exploitation of all the possible resourcesunder capture and culture fi shery base for increasing fi sh production and productivity through sustainable development. The sector is contributing considerably for, food security, nutrition and health, livelihood security to rural population and welfare of fishers.
Among the total 78 reservoirs in the State, the water spread area is below 1000 hectares in 53 reservoirs between 1000 and 5000 hectares in 17 reservoirs and 8 percent of reservoirs have water spread area of more than 5000 hectares.
Out of the total 35031 tanks in the State, more than 600 are found in Warangal, Medak, Karimnagar and Mahabubnagar districts. Thus, Warangal, Mahabubnagar, Karminagar and Medak districts have high potential for fi sheries development through tanks and reservoirs.
During 2014-15, up to December 2014, 1.69 Lakh tonnes of fi sh and prawn is produced in Telangana as against target of 2.92 Lakh tonnes. For the year 2015-16, the target for Fish and Prawn production is 3.21 Lakh tonnes.
The average productivity of tank is 300 to 400 kgs per hectare of water spread area. Similarly, in reservoirs, the productivity is 30 kgs per hectare of water spread area as compared to the actual potential of 150 kgs per hectare. Thus, more attention needs to be given to reservoir and tank fi sheries of Telangana to improve their productivity.
The culture fi shery of Telangana is not developed as compared to tank and reservoir fi shery. A major proportion of aquaculture farms are concentrated in Khammam district. Farmers from Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda,Karminagar and Adilabad districts are engaged in prawn culture.
There are 19.04 lakh fi shermen in the State. More than 65 percent of fi shermen are concentrated in Warangal,Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda and Karimnagar districts. The State has been implementing several centrally sponsored programmes that include strengthening the data base and network, registration of fresh water aquaculture, group accident insurance for fishermen, supply of fish seed and ice boxes under State Plan and under the Special Component Plan for SCs.
Similarly, it has been implementing for ST fi shermen also, that includes supply of inputs to ST fi shermen, supply of boats and nets, establishment of fi sh/prawn pond or fish seed farm for STs, vending units with moped and luggage autos.
The Government has proposed, a comprehensive project/scheme for Fisheries Development with an outlay of Rs.3856.72 lakh, to improve the productivity, reduce post harvest losses, increase livelihood support and welfare of fi shermen in capture and culture fi shers.
In this project infrastructure oriented schemes, benefi ciary oriented schemes/programmes, community assets for fi shermen including SC/ST fi shermen are proposed.
Fisherwomen Self Help Groups- Matsya Mitra Groups (MMGS)
Fisherwomen Self Help Groups called Matsya Mitra Groups (MMGs), were set up in the State. There are 383 Fisherwomen Coop. Societies, with a total membership of 1068.
The MMGs are organized within Fisherwomen Coop. Societies. So far 868 MMGs covering 8700 fi sherwomen are organized in Telangana State. These MMGs prepare their Micro business plan and take income generating schemes for improving their economic condition.
Revolving fund is given to the group under Chief Minister package and RKVY @ Rs.25,000 per group of 10 to 15 women. The groups also approach the bank for taking loans to augment their resources. The financial assistance of Rs.138.65 lakhs is released to 550 MMGs in Telangana State so far.