Agri Business

Hatcheries looking to grow exotic fish can get approvals from States now

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 29, 2020

Hatcheries looking to grow already-approved exotic fish varieties do not have to rush to Delhi for approvals as these decision-making powers have been delegated to the States as part of improving ease of doing business in the fisheries sector, a senior Department of Fisheries official said on Monday.

Earlier, hatcheries planning to cultivate exotic fish species had to get approvals from the Centre before the commercial cultivation can begin. But last month, the Department of Fisheries issued a circular allowing the States to grant such permissions. “If the species is already approved for cultivation in the country and the broodstock is coming from a recognised centre within the country, the States themselves can give approvals to the hatcheries,” the official said.

Export basket

The move is part of the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying’s plan to broadbase India’s fisheries export basket. While shrimp continues to be the major fishery export item from the country, there is a huge demand for varieties such as tilapia and seabass in the export market, which India has not been able to tap much. Relaxing the approval process can lead to higher cultivation of such exotic species within the country, the official added.

Shaji Baby John, Chairman of Kochi-based Kings Group, welcomed the decision taken by the government last month and said this will immensely help entrepreneurs getting to aquaculture business in a big way as they do not have to approach Delhi for all such approvals.

The government has already drawn up a major programme to promote fisheries in the country by investing $9 billion over the next five years. While the Centre, which recently announced PM Matsya Sampada Yojana would invest $5.5 billion, the State governments are expected to invest a total of $3.3 billion within this time frame.

Published on June 29, 2020

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