Fresh impetus for India's seafood industry

The HITEX Exhibition Centre in Hyderabad recently hosted the fifth edition of the Aqua Aquaria India Photo: MPEDA The HITEX Exhibition Centre in Hyderabad recently hosted the fifth edition of the Aqua Aquaria India Photo: MPEDA

India's vice president has said that the country's seafood industry needs renewed impetus in order to make growth sustainable, generate employment and to gain a competitive edge in internal markets.

Inaugurating the fifth Aqua Aquaria India (AAI) at the HITEX exhibition centre in Hyderabad, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu spoke of the potential to expand the industry through diversification and by tapping markets in the hinterland and non-coastal states.

“Most of the Asian countries are focusing on advanced technology for increasing fish production and productivity, he said. "In China and Israel, production of marine products is 10 to 15 metric tonnes per hectare. India also needs to substantially increase its production for exports and domestic requirements.”

The focal theme of the event, held on 30 August to 1 September and organised by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), was ‘Taking Blue Revolution to India’s Hinterland’. Describing aquaculture as the 'best alternative for reinforcing the fish sector', the vice-president said that the focus needs to be on environment-friendly aquaculture in rural areas.

“Sustainability and productivity have to be the twin mantra for India’s aquaculture sector,” he said.

India is the world's fourth largest exporter of fish, producing seafood worth US$6.8 billion in 2018/19. In his opening address, MPEDA chairman, Shri K S Srinivas said that AAI provides an opportunity to discuss the latest technological advances in aquaculture. "The government aims to double the agriculture exports of the country to US$60 billion dollars by 2022," he said.

Discussed at the event were the need for greater investment, especially in shrimp farming, and the importance of live feeds at shrimp hatcheries. The vice president also presented awards to ten aquaculture farmers acknowledging their success in the field.

Around 5,000 delegates from around the world participated in the event which hosted more than 200 stalls and sessions on topics such as sustainability and traceability.

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