National Assembly Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) here on Monday recommended the government for abolishing duties on the import of fish feed in order to exploit the true potential of the sector for the benefit of the country.

The Committee met here with Member National Assembly, Muhammad Shakir Bashir Awan in the chair which discussed the issues and challenges faced by the fisheries sector in the country and recommended remedial measures for the development of the sector.

The Committee also recommended for establishing training institutions in every districts to promote aquaculture and alleviate the poverty from the rural areas of the country.

It also suggested to introduce innovative ways of fish farming inspite of conventional farming in order to reduce input cost as well as enhancing farm productivity and profit maximization.

Member of the Committee, Captain (R) Muhammad Safdar suggested for establishing a company for the promotion and development of fisheries sector and introducing the short courses for youth in order to create them profitable job opportunities in the profit oriented business.

He also called for harvesting the fisheries potential existing in the Northern Areas of the country by providing small loans upto Rs. 500,000 to Rs.600,000 for establishing fish farms.

He also asked for organizing workshops across the four provinces and establishing model fisheries farms and allocating the amount in next PSDP.

Captain (R) Safdar also stressed the need for engaging the Zari Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) for providing small loans to the fish farming to produce exportable surplus for fetching the foreign exchange for the prosperity of the country.

Briefing the Committee, Secretary MinNFS&R, Seerat Asghar urged the need for creating linkages between agri-sector and exports to make the sector profit oriented and giving the proper return to farmers for their produces.

He informed the Committee that changing in crop pattern was vital for harnessing the true potential of the sector and alleviating the poverty from the country.

Chief Executive Officer Fisheries Development Board informed the Committee that about 1,300 youth were provided training and established trout cage farms in Gilgit Baltistan (GB).

He informed that Rs. 57.134 million has been allocated for trout cage farming in GB besides taking steps for the development and growth of the sector in the country.