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India enjoys 2nd place in marine product exports
- MPEDA chairman Dr KN Raghavan says that about 1.5 crore people are eking out a living through this important activity
- Notes that the State exports 35% of aquaculture products in the country
Vijayawada (NTR District): India secured second place in marine product exporting countries after China by achieving 18 times growth in the last seven decades, said Dr KN Raghavan, chairman of Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA).
Inaugurating a seminar on 'Initiatives of MPEDA for Promotion of Diversified Aquaculture in India with special focus on Andhra Pradesh', as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of MPEDA here on Tuesday, Dr Raghavan said that aquaculture is one of the important economic activity in the country, which is developing with diversified resources. It has been identified as an important sector like agriculture and special efforts were being made to develop it. The aquaculture, which was only 0.75 million tonnes in 1950-51, had gone up to 13.76 million tonnes by 2018-19. In addition to catering to the needs of people in the country, about 1.5 crore people are eking out living through this important activity.
Referring to the position of Andhra Pradesh, Dr Raghavan said that the State exports 35% of aquaculture products in the country with its 974-km coastal line and producing aquaculture products in 1.2 lakh hectares. In addition, various aqua products are being produced in 1.74 lakh hectares of saltwater areas, 2.34 lakh hectares of reservoirs and lakes, 28,200 hectares of mangrove and swamp lands. The MPEDA is providing necessary training to improve scientific aquaculture activities and capacity building to the aqua farmers.
Aqua promotion office was established at Machilipatnam in 1982, sub-regional centre for aquaculture promotion at Bhimavaram in 2013 and a satellite centre at Nellore in 2014 to provide latest technical knowhow and financial help.
Dr Raghavan recalled that MPEDA had established TASPARC, the first prawn hatchery in the country, at Visakhapatnam paving way for blue revolution. It was followed by the establishment of 300 more hatcheries across the country. Several hundreds of men were trained in hatchery maintenance and seed development to produce prawn seed every year necessary for the aqua farmers.
Moreover, MPEDA introduced cluster farming system in the State to train farmers with better management techniques. Dr Raghavan hoped that Andhra Pradesh would become the processing hub in the country soon.
Chief executive of National Fisheries Development Board Dr Suvarna Chandrappagari, Commissioner of Fisheries of AP K Kannababu, MPEDA director M Kartikeyan, secretary KS Pradeep, Netfish CEO Dr Joyce V Thomas, Naxa CEO Dr Deerith Ikka, and sizable number of farmers both from across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana participated.