India invests in its freshwater fisheries

By Ankush Chibber

- Last updated on GMT

India invests in its freshwater fisheries
India will develop its freshwater fish industry in a collaborative agreement with two international bodies; good news to a sector often overshadowed by its seaward cousin, say authorities.

A statement from the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), said it has joined with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Malaysia-based Infofish to develope and market freshwater fish in India.

A spokesperson for MPEDA told FoodNavigator-Asia that while the Indian fisheries sector has made rapid strides in recent years in the domestic as well as export markets, it has been restricted to seafood.

“The export oriented fisheries and aquaculture is mostly centered on saline water species, especially shrimps, cephalopods etc,”​ he said.

According to the spokesperson, fresh water aquaculture production in India has registered only a fair growth in recent decades and production consists mainly of Indian carp (about 70%).  

“Common carps and other carps constitute about 5% of the total fresh water aquaculture production.  Production of value added products in freshwater fishes is one of the potential avenues to expand our exports,”​ he added.  

He reasoned that post-harvest technology and value addition have not yet received much attention in the Indian freshwater aquaculture sector and that the deal with FAO and Infofish is an attempt to correct this.

The project, under the FAO’s Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), would allow transfer of technology for culture, production and marketing of value added products from fresh water in India, he explained.

The project, which would last three years, would have four main components - market and product studies, technology transfer, investment promotion and capacity building and dissemination, he added.

“The project us expected to give a specific and focused encouragement in the development of value added products from fresh water fishes and their export marketing in various destinations,”​ he added.

He also revealed that MPEDA has also signed agreements with four registered seafood processing establishments for the three-year project.

Related topics: Policy, South Asia, Industry growth, Seafood

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