Gangtok, October 2 (IPR): The two-day Fish Mela cum Bamboo Fair at MG Marg Gangtok came to a conclusion today. The Governor of Sikkim, Shri Ganga Prasad and Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang visited all the stalls and interacted with the bamboo artisans and the fish farmers. Later, the Chief Minister graced the closing ceremony as the chief guest.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister congratulated the participants of the two-day fair and lauded the effort of the Directorate of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry Department and Horticulture Department for successfully bringing fish farmers and bamboo artisans from all parts of the State in a single platform where they could showcase their products and market them in the State Capital. He emphasized the need for adequate marketing of any product in order to make it economically viable. He added that this would help the fish farmers directly interact with their customers, instead of depending on middlemen. He further said that Sikkim has enough water bodies to make fish farming a sustainable profession. He stated that Siliguri is a readymade market for fish produced in Sikkim. He urged the Department and fish farmers to explore this possibility.
The Chief Minister in his address informed that Sikkim joined the rest of the nation to launch the second part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan today. He said that the campaign was launched by the Governor of Sikkim along the Ganesh Tok stretch, which had the participation of the Chief Minister, Cabinet Ministers and senior officers of the State administration. He said that the second part of the Clean India Campaign launched on the special occasion of Gandhi Jayanti is one of the important initiatives under the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
The Chief Minister in his address shared the resolve of the State Government to make the campaign a success. He announced that from 1st January 2022, there will be a complete ban on the use of plastic bottles or packaged drinking water within the State of Sikkim. He appealed to the people of Sikkim to make cleanliness a way of life and strongly emphasized the use of alternate materials instead of plastic. The Chief Minister went on to announce handsome annual cash incentives for the best three Gram Panchayats and the best three urban local bodies which maintain high standards of overall hygiene. He said that these cash awards will be presented every year on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. He appealed to the people of Sikkim to pledge for a ‘plastic-free Sikkim’.
Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Husbandry Departments, Shri Lok Nath Sharma, in his address attributed the success of the two-day Fish Mela cum Bamboo Fair to the vision of the Chief Minister to uplift rural economy. He said that schemes like ‘Mukhya Mantri Matsya Palan Yojana’, ‘Mukhya Mantri Krishi Atma Nirbhar Yojana’, and ‘Mukhya Mantri Pashu Dhan Yojana’ are schemes conceived by the State Government to achieve the goal of Atma Nirbhar Sikkim. He urged the youth of Sikkim to start taking pride in being engaged in farming and allied services. He extended his gratitude to all the participants of the two-day Fair and wished them well in their future endeavours. He also thanked and lauded the effort of the departmental officers and staff. He concluded his address with the slogan – “Future is Agriculture and Livestock”.
On the occasion, the participants were presented awards and certificates of participation by the Chief Minister.
During the programme, a brochure of Product Incentive Schemes (PIS) under Animal Husbandry and Horticulture Departments was released by the chief guest. Similarly, in a first of its kind initiative, ‘Regu Fish Ecotourism’ was officially unveiled by the Chief Minister, reinforcing the potential of Regu in East Sikkim as a hub for fish eco-tourism. Likewise, a local product called ‘Fish Flavouring Agent’ developed by Namcheybong Fresh, a rural entrepreneurial venture initiated by Shri Dewaker Basnet and his team was launched on the occasion by the Chief Minister.
The programme was also addressed by Secretary, Horticulture Department, Smt Yashoda Bhandari, and Secretary, Animal Husbandry Department, Dr Sangay D. Bhutia.
Earlier, a brief report of the two-day Fair was presented by Director Fisheries, Shri N. Jaswant.