Published: 25th November 2020
AP govt sets up University of Fisheries in West Godavari to encourage more experts in the field
In September this year, the State cabinet approved the AP State Fisheries University Ordinance 2020 and decided to spend `300 crore on the proposed varsity in the span of five years
The state's objective to emerge on top in the fisheries sector, be it aquaculture, inland fishing, marine fishing, fish processing exports in the next decade can only be possible with sufficient number of experts of these sub fields. However, there is a wide gap between demand and supply, when it comes to experts. The lone College of Fisheries Sciences in Muthukur of Nellore district is only able to produce around 40 experts per year, while the aquaculture sector alone is growing at 10 to 15 percent per annum.
To bridge the gap, the state government has decided to set up a University of Fisheries in West Godavari district. If everything goes as planned, the university might start functioning from the next academic year. In September this year, the State cabinet approved the AP State Fisheries University Ordinance 2020 and decided to spend `300 crore on the proposed varsity in the span of five years. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy during the foundation stone laying of the fishing harbours couple of days ago said that works pertaining to the AP State Fisheries University will commence in 3-4 months.
“Lack of skilled personnel in the sector is resulting in aqua farmers suffering losses and the proposed varsity will fill the gap. There is a great demand for the experts for the fisheries sector, as sea food exports follow stringent guidelines and even a single violation of terms and conditions might result in several crores of rupees loss. Once the university is established, not only experts can be produced, but also research and development activity, extension activity can be taken up more vigorously,” explained P Koteswara Rao, Principal, State Institute of Fisheries Technology (SIFT)
In fact, AP, which boasts vast aqua resources and is topper in aquaculture products, is lagging behind when it comes to producing experts in aquaculture. Though the College of Fisheries Sciences in Muthukur is striving to fill the gap, it is proving not sufficient. States like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Naud and West Bengal already have exclusive universities for fisheries sciences.
There is an increasing demand for Bachelor in Fisheries Sciences (BFSc), MFSc courses, which have different specialisations and once the university is established, several more courses tailor made for the needs of the fisheries sector can be introduced. “There is high demand for hatchery technicians, feed technicians, aquaculture technicians, fisheries marketing, pharmacology and experts in other sub sectors of fisheries. With more fish processing plants expected to be set up in the state in future, demand for these experts will only grow,” Koteswara Rao said.