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PESHAWAR: Capture fisheries are on the decline in the country due to number for factors including climate change and rising global temperature regime.

The impact of the Global Climate Changes is also affecting the ecosystem of Marine, Brakish water and fresh water upstream of the Indus River delta.

Talking to this scribe, Omar Hayat Khan, a former Director Fisheries Khyber Pakhtunkhwa here on Sunday said that the demand of fish for human consumption is increasing with increasing population in Pakistan.

The decline in fish catch in Marine, Brakish and fish water is impacting the fisher’s income resource which are also in decline thus they have economic problems which need to be addressed according to their needs.

To increase fish production only way is to support investment in the sector through coordinated efforts of the federal and provincial governments.

A positive initiative has been taken by the Ministry of Food Security, Government of Pakistan through its Fisheries Development Board that a soft intervention of development of website where will link stake holders from Farmers, Auctioneers, whole-sellers, processors and retailers on daily basis.

The producers (Fish Farmers) will have update knowledge of the market price and demand of fish in national local markets.

The Federal Government, Ministry for food security, Ministry of Commerce and Industry will collaboration of Fisheries Development Board, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) with Provincial Fisheries Department should provide technical support and small amount of financial support in the shape of matching grants to enhance fish production through scientific intervention.

This programme should started by providing registration to primary (fish hatcheries, fish farms) and tire two production, processing and cold chain stakeholders. The data-base will provide a complete picture of the Aquaculture throughout Pakistan.

Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority is planning to provide Research and Development program to support public and private sector in their endeavor to enhance trout fish production in Pakistan particularly Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in near future.

Provincial line Fisheries Departments would be taken on board for Soft interventions which are being designed to improve the capacity of public and private sub sector of Fisheries to enhance trout fish production in the country. This activity will be started soon starting intervention from Swat District, of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Latest interventions technical support for adoption of latest available technologies will be developed supporting private sector entrepreneurs for expansion of their business activities translating into more income and employment opportunities in the private sector.

The primary objective of this initiative should be to enhance fish production from Aquaculture and secondary objective create new jobs, broaden participation of stakeholder, increase in fish production and Geographic spread within Pakistan.

The program support should be specific in machinery and Equipment particularly for Acieration electrical equipment on sharing basis and in areas which increases the competitiveness of stakeholders.

Secondary aquaculture operations, post-harvest handling, gutting, packing and quick freeze and for purchase of refer vehicle for transport of fish from farm to market.

This will improve quality of fish for human consumption. The benefit to the Pakistan economy will be manifold in the shape of multiplier effect in local economies as well as national economy.

The enhanced production of fish will reduce reliance on import of fish from other places which are cause of foreign exchange drain.

High quality animal protein will be locally available and sustain existing jobs and increase further employment opportunities at the local level as well- being of the people involved in the activities as a source of income.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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