Telangana is set to boost its export-oriented aquaculture, as the government is tying up with the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA). A Memorandum of Understanding in this regard was signed in presence of Talasani Srinivasa Yadav, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development, Cinematography & Fisheries, Govt. of Telangana by Sandeep Kumar Sulatania, Secretary to Chief Minister, and Secretary to Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development & Fisheries, Government of Telangana and K S Srinivas, Chairman, MPEDA at Hyderabad today.
The 1972-founded MPEDA have signed the MoU for the development of export-oriented aquaculture in the state so as to also promote its fish exports in the next five years. The MOU involves setting up a multi-species aquaculture centre with the state government’s funding. The facility will consist of hatcheries, nurseries and training centres for export-oriented aquaculture species.
The pact also envisages providing technical assistance to set up an Aquatic Quarantine Facility at Hyderabad Airport through MPEDA society named Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA), besides extending technical and financial assistance for a chilled and live fish-handling facility at the same place.
MPEDA will also assist the Telangana government in formulating a cage culture policy for promoting export-oriented aquaculture in the water bodies of the state. In order to build the capacity of farmers in adopting better management practices, MPEDA will organise the farmers into clusters under the National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA).
Telangana has the country’s third-largest inland water resource base for fisheries with 77 large, medium and minor reservoirs and as many as 24,189 tanks with 5.7 lakh ha water spread area suitable for fisheries. Aquaculture is being carried out in more than 1,000-ha area.
Also, the state has fisher communities totaling 27.14 lakh people. Associated with 4,000 fishermen societies, they comprise 3 lakh members who are spread over the entire state.
The MPEDA, through its research and development wing RGCA, has developed and standardised technology for a number of candidate species including fast-growing fish like the GIFT (genetically improved farmed tilapia) and highly valued fish such as the seabass. The fishes are suitable for culture in the freshwater environments and are amenable to cage culture technology as well. MPEDA also has the expertise to set up quarantine facility at the ports as well as facilitate export of chilled fish products.
Prior to the signing of the MoU, a coordination meeting was taken by Sandeep Kumar Sulatania, Secretary, Fisheries, Government of Telangana in presence of K S Srinivas, Chairman, MPEDA and other Senior officials from Dept. Of Fisheries, GHMC, Transport, Police & Fire, I&PR departments, in connection with organizing Aqua Aquaria India 2019, a major event hosted by MPEDA in the southern state’s capital city of Hyderabad on August 30, 31 and 1st September.
In the meeting, Chairman, MPEDA has highlighted the importance of fisheries sector and its importance in export earnings of the country. As per the latest figures, India exports over 14 lakh tonnes of marine products worth Rs. 47,000 Crore, which is nearly US$ 7 billion. The major markets for Indian marine products are USA, EU, South East Asia, China, Japan and Middle East countries. Chairman opined that Telangana holds immense potential in developing inland aquaculture and could thereby contribute to exports significantly in the future. The state shall also utilise the air connectivity from Hyderabad to export live and chilled fish to various markets.
“Telangana has already realised the importance of development of export-oriented aquaculture. The upcoming meet will enrich the state’s food security and further promote its fish exports,” according to K S Srinivas, Chairman of the Kochi-headquartered MPEDA which functions under the Union government’s Department of Commerce.
Aqua Aquaria India 2019, the three-day show being held in Hitex City, Hyderabad from August 30 will be Asia’s biggest of its kind with more than 250 exhibitors, showcasing various production and harvest technologies, machinery and accessories in export-oriented aquaculture as well as ornamental fisheries sectors, the meet will see the participation of no less than 5,000 national and international delegates.
The August 30-September 1 conclave will also feature technical sessions led by national and international experts in various domains of aquaculture, MPEDA said today.