Sindh, Balochistan Take the Lead as Punjab Lags Behind in Shrimp Farming Project

Sindh and Balochistan are in advanced stages to kickstart their shrimp farming projects on around 3,400-acre land. However, Punjab is still in limbo over the finalization of the program.

The initial estimate of the project is Rs. 6381.86 Million, which is equally shared by the federal and provincial governments of Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan.

Balochistan is the only province that has got its PC-I approved from the respective forum, whereas Sindh still wants to revisit its PC-I while Punjab has not yet finalized the program, official documents available with the scribe state.

The sponsoring agencies of the project are the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Forest, Wildlife & Fisheries Department, Govt. of Punjab and Livestock and Fisheries Department, Govt. of Sindh, while the provincial governments along the Fisheries Department are the executing agencies as well. The funding is equally shared by the Federal government and the provinces.

While briefing the meeting of the National Coordination Committee of the Agriculture Transformation Plan on shrimp farming, Secretary Livestock & Fisheries Department, Sindh, informed the forum that consent for the shrimp project on a 50:50 sharing basis has been granted by Chief Minister, Sindh. Moreover, PC-I is worth Rs. 1,700 million will be submitted to the P&D department Sindh for the approval process, the documents reveal.

Upon this submission of Secretary Livestock & Fisheries Department, Sindh, the CEO Fisheries Development Board, NFS&R, briefed the chair that, under this intervention, the subsidy would be given on only 2300 acres in Sindh, in which per acres cost was Rs. 120,000. A total subsidy of Rs. 276 million will be given to farmers in Sindh, in which 50 percent cost (Rs. 138 million) will be borne by the federal government. Therefore, Sindh Fisheries Department needs to revisit their project proposal, said the documents.

Secretary Fisheries Department, Balochistan, informed the chair that according to Umbrella PC-I (Shrimp project), Balochistan will give subsidy on 1100 acres for shrimp farming. The PC-I is worth Rs. 164 million has been approved from P&D. Summary for allocation of funds in C.F.Y have been sent to provincial cabinet for approval.

Further, it was informed that 10 acres of land requested by the Fisheries Development Board (FDB) have been identified and approved by Govt. of Balochistan, the documents maintained.

DG Fisheries Department, Punjab, requested the forum to direct Fisheries Development Board (FDB) to submit revised PC-I of Pilot Shrimp Project to CDWP for approval because the activities of the Punjab component are suffering due to pending revision of the said project.

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research has identified slow progress due to COVID-19, delay in land acquisition, pending activities due to land acquisition issues, and pending NOC from the Navy as the bottlenecks in the project.