The seafood industry expects the proposals for separate department for fisheries and the 2% interest subvention for fishery farmers to raise shrimp production and help in boosting the export.
India was the top producer of aquaculture shrimps in the world last year with over 6 lakh tonnes and its seafood export stood around a record Rs 45,000 crore in 2017-18. Separate department may help focus more on fisheries as at present it is clubbed along with animal husbandry and dairy under Agriculture Ministry.
``It will help in quicker decisions at administrative level for fisheries and seafood being an export-oriented industry will definitely benefit,’’ said S Chandrasekhar, president of Society of Aquaculture Professionals. He said it has been a long-pending demand of the industry.
``We hope that there will be a secretary for fisheries under the department whom we will be able to approach directly. For instance, our demands like quarantine facility for aquaculture can be easily settled,’’ said V Balasubramaniam, general secretary of Prawn Farmers Federation of India.
He said the 2% interest subvention for fishery farmers and 2% interest subvention for farmers affected by calamities will help the industry. Recently the Gaja cyclone had hit the shrimp farmers in parts of Tamil Nadu.
The lack of clarity in the proposal for interest subvention was pointed out by Kenny Thomas, MD of Jinny Marine Traders in Guajarat, an exporter. `` The announcement says farmers pursuing fisheries and animal husbandry will get interest subvention. But we need to clarify whether it applies to river fisherman or in general including shrimp farmers,’’ he said