Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced a raft of measures, including setting up of agencies for aquaculture and fisheries in all coastal states and export incentives for marine products, under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS).
Under the MEIS, government currently allocates Rs 22,000 crore annually for exports.
"From this financial year onwards, an additional Rs 1,500 crore will be allocated under the scheme that will include certain marine and seafood items," Sitharaman said at the India International Seafood Show here.
A Commerce Ministry statement said the agencies for aquaculture and fisheries, under the guidance of the chief ministers and headed by the states' chief secretaries, will be under the aegis of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), the nodal body for marine exports under the ministry.
The minister said that despite being a major producer, India's seafood industry has a long way to go in fully tapping the potential for value addition.
"I held discussions with trade ministers from Japan and South Korea recently and they have expressed interest in collaborating with India for development of aquaculture," she added.
Sitharaman hoped that the MPEDA would play a key role in bringing in the best industry practices from around the globe to accelerate the growth of the seafood industry.
Expressing his government's determination to make Andhra Pradesh the 'aquaculture hub' of the world, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said that the state accounted for over 45 per cent of India's cultured shrimp exports during 2015-16.
"We expect to touch a target of 70 per cent over the next few years," he added.
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