Agri Business

MPEDA to promote organic aquaculture

V. Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on November 04, 2011

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Ms Leena Nair, Chairman, MPEDA. (file photo)   -  Business Line

Owing to a surge in global demand for organic feed, the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) seeks to actively promote organic aquaculture in suitable areas.

Ms Leena Nair, Chairperson, MPEDA, said fish products are considered health food and the organic fishery market is valued at $800-900 million. Organic aquaculture enjoys global demand, which is increasing by 10-15 per cent a year.

MPEDA will introduce a scheme to promote organic aquaculture that meets international standards, she said. This practice is very similar to traditional aquaculture practices in the country. Each farmer group can formulate an Internal Control System (ICS) to implement the programme successfully.

Inputs such as seed and feed have to come from a certified organic hatchery or feed mill. Use of chemicals is prohibited at any stage of the culture period. Organically processed fishes/ shellfishes command a premium over conventional products.

Ms Nair said MPEDA has introduced an attractive assistance package that provides farmers 50 per cent of the cost of procuring organic seed and feed, as well as certification. Supplies can come only from approved hatcheries and feed mills. . The subsidy ceiling has been raised to Rs 50,000 a hectare of water.

Each beneficiary is entitled to subsidy for a maximum of 6 hectares, subject to the financial ceiling of Rs 3 lakh. In the case of a group/ cluster/ society/ padasekaram, the upper limit is Rs 15 lakh for 30 hectares or more. Subsidy is available for the conversion crop as well as succeeding three organic crops.

MPEDA also arranges technical training related to the organic certification process, both for farmers and other stakeholders.

Published on November 04, 2011

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