Unveiling the State Government’s plan to upscale seaweed farming, A Karthik, Principal Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Dairying, Fisheries and Fishermen Welfare Department, said Tamil Nadu is poised for growth as a modern seaweed hub.

“We are creating a unique opportunity for the investors and entrepreneurs to make Tamil Nadu a one-stop destination for the seaweed sector”, he said, inaugurating the Seaweed India-2022 conference organized by the Smart Agripost jointly with the Bay of Bengal Programme (BOBP) and Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute.

The government is on a mission mode to uplift seaweed farming in the State with an integrated, tech-savvy and end-to-end approach catering to the need of fishers, industries and new entrepreneurs of the seaweed industry, he said.

₹127-crore investment

Karthik said the proposed multi-purpose seaweed park would facilitate technology adoption for productivity enhancement, environmental improvement and the creation of sustainable livelihood opportunities for coastal people. The park with an investment of ₹127.72 crore will also offer a well-organised production system, strengthen infrastructure and competent institutions for optimum utilisation of coastal resources. The state government has already identified suitable lands for the proposed project in Ramanathapuram and Pudukottai districts.

In India, the bolstering of the seaweed industry will have an edge on coastal people in Tamil Nadu, especially fisherwomen as seaweed farming is a traditional practice in the State. Seaweed farming by fisherwomen of Mandapam is well-documented.

Despite various efforts, the potential of seaweed farming at home remains unrealised. The current annual demand of seaweed in Tamil Nadu for industrial use is about 1,15,000 tonnes, while the output is staggering around 15,000 tonnes, he said. 

J.K Jena, Deputy Director-General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), highlighted the research advancements made by the institution towards popularising seaweed farming in Inda.

K S Palanisamy, Tamil Nadu Fisheries Commissioner, highlighted the preparedness of various initiatives of the Fisheries Department, including the seaweed park.