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Modi govt sets firm eyes on the sea as new source of major exports

Economic Survey showed that share of marine products in exports has risen at the fastest pace

Subhayan Chakraborty  |  New Delhi 

Seafoods

The government has set its eyes on the sea with an aim of expanding and developing capabilities in new

The 2018 showed that the share of in India's export kitty rose by the highest margin among all at 29.5 per cent. While India currently has a relatively small 2.7 per cent share in its overall exports, the sector has been upheld as one holding great potential by the

Comprising mainly of shrimps, prawns and fish; India's aquatic stood at $5.5 billion in 2016-17 and has seen two consecutive years of growth. Outbound shipments have also fetched the country more than $4.17 billion during the April-October period of the current financial year.

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On the back of significant growth in marine exports, the government will prepare, over the next three months, a comprehensive roadmap to double of marine products, said last week. This will include measures to strengthen aquaculture production in states, potential collaborations, marketing and integration of supply chains, he added.

The government is also focusing on inland fishery, which has recently made large strides in exports, as a priority area, and is aiming to create a system for all 13 coastal states to work in sync in order to develop the budding sector.

"We have stressed special emphasis on marketing initiatives for Indian exports." a senior official said. He added that buyers from newer markets had been targeted at 'Indus Foods' — the global food and beverage show organised by the ministry earlier this month in New Delhi.

The (US), followed by South East Asia and the have held steady as the largest markets for Indian seafood exporters. However, domestic producers in the have repeatedly asked their government to initiate anti-dumping probes on Indian traders for undercutting prices. The has named India, along with Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico, China, and Malaysia, as seven of the 13 countries with which the ran a significant shrimp trade deficit in 2016.

In 2017, the International Trade Commission (USITC) voted to extend the anti-dumping orders on imports of frozen warm-water shrimp for five more years. The imported 188,617 tonnes of Indian seafood in 2016-17.

On the other hand, accounting for about 18 per cent of total seafood export, the EU had strengthened its inspection norms for aquaculture products sent from India. Earlier, the norm was testing samples from at least 10 per cent of the consignments, which was enhanced to 50 per cent in 2016.

The has also pointed out that engineering goods, and and chemicals continue to rule the roost when it comes to their share in overall exports. While engineering have continued to consolidate their top position even in a slowing market, and have lost their sheen a bit during the April-November period of the 2017-18. (Click here to read our full coverage of the Economic Survey)

First Published: Thu, February 01 2018. 01:52 IST
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