Agri Business

Aquaculture industry estimates 10-15% growth in production

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on January 19, 2018

Marine Products Exports Development Authority’s farmer-friendly initiatives have boosted aquaculture production, with the agency anticipating 10-15 per cent growth this fiscal year.

During 2014-15, tiger shrimp production was 73,155 tonnes, whereas the contribution of vannamei shrimp was to the tune of 3,53,413 tonnes. The technical assistance extended by MPEDA in all maritime States, catering to farmers’ needs, helped achieve the growth. The figures available with MPEDA revealed that West Bengal leads the show in tiger shrimp production, registering 73 per cent, followed by Odisha (13.77 per cent), Kerala (4.98 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (4.04 per cent) and Gujarat (2.98 per cent). In vannamei shrimps, it was Andhra Pradesh came to the forefront beating other maritime States.

Stakeholders emphasised the need to encourage aquaculture production, as the figure in the first six months of this fiscal touched around 3 lakh tonnes, showing a 10 per cent growth over the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year.

However, they pointed out that the western coast contribution in aquaculture was a meagre 10 per cent vis-a-vis 90 per cent in the eastern coast, led by Andhra Pradesh.

Why the west coast lags

Lack of booster policies and reform oriented schemes in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, and Kerala compared to robust farmer and industry friendly schemes Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal, have been a major factor for this disparity, they added.

MPEDA officials attributed the east coast’s dominance to flat land areas – favourable for aquaculture production – compared to hilly regions on the western coast.

The unavailability of requisite land in the west coast also contributed to low production. Kamlesh Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director of WestCoast Group, a Gujarat-based shrimp producer and exporter, pointed out that the AP government introduced multiple schemes for farmers as well as feed and seed manufacturers, besides reduction in power tariff and Interest subsidies. However, western coast States are yet to evolve such policies.

Promotion of aquaculture activities by the Gujarat government, he said, is not encouraging even though the State has the longest coastline, stretching 1,600 km.

Currently, land availability for farming is limited and the need of the hour is fast processing of pending applications for allotment of brackish water land.

Published on January 21, 2016

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