March 6, 2014
India's Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Shri Anand Sharma inaugurated the nucleus breeding centre of the domestication of tiger shrimp project of Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture in Port Blair which will have far reaching benefits for shrimp famers and seafood exporters of India.
Shri Sharma stressed that within five years of the establishment of the project, tiger shrimp aquaculture in India would scale new heights to achieve additional production to the tune of 100,000 tonnes and have export value of US$1 billion.
The Minister further added that India ranks second only to China in global aquaculture production producing 4.64 million tonnes annually out of the world's total production of 60 million tonnes.
The minister added that there is no doubt that production of disease free varieties of tiger prawns will assure market access to advanced markets which have much higher health standards. It will also catalyse the growth of ancillary industry in the entire value chain of sea food processing.
Besides, he pointed out that "with the upgradation of the airport in Port Blair, there will be a surge in marine exports in the country." He also said that the non-trade barrier issues in shrimp with Japan have been resolved.
Applauding the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture as being front ranking scientific organisation in this sector in India, the minister also expressed that they will shortly be granted four patents in adaptable aquaculture technology for which they have applied. He said that the seafood industry of India is poised at a crucial juncture and it needs a dramatic technology infusion capacity building and market expansion.
Furthermore, he emphasised that it needs much greater value addition for providing remunerative prices to our resource poor farmers. He would urge the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) to create innovative implementation models which would create necessary forward and backward linkages and create economies of scale.
Later in the day, Shri Sharma also laid the foundation stone for the Multi-species Grouper Hatchery at Rangachang, Andaman and the Broodstock Multiplication Centre for Tiger Shrimp at Kanyakumari. Once the aquaculture of groupers is established, the minister said that production can be increased manifold and will facilitate export of this item in live condition which has the potential of enhancing the income by up to five-fold for their fishermen.
Shri Sharma also praised MPEDA for introducing several scientific technologies for the aquaculture sector as it has been consistently providing technology support for commercial hatcheries and extension in financial services in the entire coastal area to ensure propagation of scientific shrimp farming practices in the country.
Speaking on the trade scenario, Shri Sharma expressed hope that the annual trade figures will be higher this year in comparison to the last year. He also hoped that the Foreign Direct Investment figure for the last five year will cross US$215 billion.
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