Tap aquaculture's export potential: Kamal Nath

"India is keen on developing trade links with foreign countries"

Staff Reporter

NAGAPATTINAM: : The world market is looking to India for marine products and aquaculture has emerged as an important export sector in the country, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath said on Friday.

He was addressing a function after laying the foundation for the `technology transfer, training and administrative complex' of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture Research (RGCA) at Karaimedu in Sirkazhi taluk.

Mr. Kamal Nath said India was keen on developing trade links with foreign countries in areas capable of generating large-scale job opportunities.

Marine scientists were introducing biotechnology to aquaculture to maximise the output of marine products. The Government set up the centre to develop commercial culture technologies for species that had good market potential. The centre would benefit fishermen and farmers.

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Mani Shankar Aiyar, who presided over the function, said the Union Commerce Ministry sanctioned Rs.10 crores for constructing the administrative complex. The World Bank would provide Rs.450 crores ($100 million) for the centre.

Mr. Aiyar said the Marine Products Export Development Authority, which was setting up the centre, would bring eminent marine scientists to these areas and help the fishermen earn good prices for their catch. Though the marine product exports fetched Rs.6,500 crores in foreign exchange, Indian fishermen were not adopting the latest technology in food processing and marketing, he said.

The construction would be completed in a year and inaugurated on Rajiv Gandhi's birth anniversary next year.

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