Kochi: The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) with the assistance of the Centre will take up the upgradation and modernisation 25 fishing harbours in the country at a proposed outlay of Rs 2500 crore.
The project will start with two harbours namely Thoppumpady in Kochi in Kerala and Nizampatnam in Andhra Pradesh, MPEDA chairman K S Srinivas said. Preparation of the detailed project report (DPR) has been entrusted to Ernst and Young.
“After getting approval for the DPR a special vehicle vehicle (SPV) will be formed to implement the project. We expect around Rs 100 crore for the upgradation of one harbour,” he told media persons on Thursday on the eve of three-day 22nd India international seafood show (IISS) beginning here on February 7. The idea is to set up processing facilities at the harbour itself to add value to the product.
The chairman stressed the need to increase value addition of marine products which was around 5% in India compared with 50% in South East Asian countries
Srinivas said the current coronavirus scare virus has not affected the consumption of shrimp in China as the disease is limited to a small province of Wuhan. However, the visit of Indian trade delegation to China to discuss the issue of presence of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) in some of the Indian seafood consignments has been put off because of the coronavirus outbreak.
India’s seafood export to China reached $1 billion by November. But it has slowed down after the detection of WSSV residue in nine consignments. “The virus is present in most countries including China. So as per WTO guidelines the country already having this virus in cannot put restriction on consignments with same virus from other countries,” he said.
The seafood export in the FY20 has shown a 5% decline till December. “It has been attributed to shortfall in catches due to cyclone and climate changes. However, the aquaculture production is expected to be higher this year,” Srinivas said. Indian seafood export touched $6.7 billion in 2018-19 and MPEDA has targeted $10 billion by 2022.
In all 1500 delegates are expected to attend the international seafood show, including 57 from overseas. The show, jointly organised by MPEDA and SEAI will have the theme ‘blue revolution-beyond production to value addition.’ It will be inaugurated by Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan. Union minister of state for commerce Som Prakash and Kerala fisheries minister J Mercikutty Amma will attend.