Ministry Of Fisheries To Provide Facilities For Cultivation Of Alternative Baits Locally

The price of Squid which is imported from China being used as baits for fishing has been soaring during last couple of months in this year. Even though the Fisher community has made request from the Ministry of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development to take measures to reduce the price of those, it was found futile due to the fact that the import of this commodity is benefitted from tax concessions.

The Minister of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera has issued directives to the officials to take steps to render necessary facilities for alternative bait cultivation as a remedial measure.

It is in this context, the Ministry of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development has decided to grant a subsidy of Rs.500, 000/= and a plot of land for those who show interest in embarking on the programme of Milk fish ( Vekkaya) farming which can be used as an alternative bait for fishers engaged in deep sea fishing.

The Hon. Minister further added that a land at Madhu River in Balapitiya and another land in Chilaw district have been identified and also has arrived at a decision to give priority and assistance to enhance the livelihood status of those who come forward to engage in Milk fish farming.

Apart from that, the prospective cultivators of Milk fish (Vekkaya) will be benefitted by providing financial provisions through a state bank under a concessionary loan scheme, the Hon. Minister said. Since, there is a strong potential that the price of Squid imported from China would keep escalating in near future, promotion of milk fish farming in the country would augur well for the fisher community.

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