Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Friday called for efforts to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into the marine sector for increasing employment opportunities and boosting the country's seafood exports through an innovative model based on diversification and value addition.
During the 22nd India International Seafood Show (IISS), Khan expressed confidence that India would be able to increase its share in global seafood trade from the current 4.1% to 6.7% by 2030 by increasing production, value addition and diversification.
Highlighting the importance of seafood, the Governor highlighted that 40% of the global population live within 200 km from seacoasts and 12 of the 15 mega cities are on the coasts. In India alone, about 40.5 million people are involved in the fisheries sector, which also contributes one per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP), he noted.
Welcoming the delegates, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) chairman KS Srinivas talked of a three-pronged strategy to promote the sector, namely increasing productivity, expanding area under cultivation and diversification of species.
An increase of productivity from the current 5 metric tonne per hectare to 10 MT is desired. A vision document in this regard has been submitted to the government in this connection, he said. Improvement in infrastructure, focus on value addition, brand promotion and increase in the number of trade promotion offices would go a long way in achieving the trade target, he said.
On the occasion, MPEDA launched a certification system for aquaculture that guarantees quality shrimp post-larvae (PL) and authenticates their quality in the highly competitive international market.
Called Shaphari, the antibiotic-free certification, is an end-to-end solution that enables MPEDA to audit the Post-Larvae's offered by hatcheries across the country. The move comes in the context of top world bodies having identified a rapid evolution of drug-resistant bacteria called superbugs.