Referral facility for aquatic animal disorders be set up in the State

It will be at a cost of ₹132.24 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana

A Referral Aquatic Animal Disease Diagnosis and Quality Testing Laboratory is to be set up in the State at a cost of ₹132.24 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).

Besides the state-of-the-art disease diagnosis and quality testing of antibiotic residue and heavy metal contamination in aquatic food, it will take up regular surveillance and monitoring for emerging and re-emerging disease and focus on aquatic animal health management.

Farmers, entrepreneurs, public, researchers, scientists and students will benefit from the project to be executed in one year. The Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies will be the implementing agency.

The facility, to be set up using Centre and State funds, will be housed in a 4,000-sq.ft building that will have Wet lab and bio-secure challenge facility, furnishing building, and mobile aqua clinic.

An integrated laboratory network linkage will be created with the laboratories of the Department of Fisheries and Central government institutions. Once commissioned, farmers and entrepreneurs will get diagnostic facility and quality assessment service.

Capacity building training to the technical staff of the Fisheries Department and skill development training to unemployed youth are the other benefits. Research on developing and standardising effective therapeutics for fish and shellfish disease has been proposed.

Besides, the regular awareness, capacity building, and training is expected to result in the adoption of best management practices and help reduce diseases.

Following the decision of the Special Working Group held on October 21, the government has accorded administrative sanction for the project estimated to cost ₹132.24 crore. The Central share will be ₹585 lakh and the State Share will be ₹390 lakh.

In the approved beneficiary-oriented funding pattern, Central share will be 24%, State’s share 16%, and beneficiary share 60%. In the non-beneficiary oriented, the Central share will be 60% and State’s 40%.

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