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Andhra govt initiates measures to boost aquaculture

VIJAYAWADA: The government is making every effort to promote aquaculture in the State, which tops the country in marine product exports. Besides directing the officials to ensure MSP for aqua products and regulate prices of aqua feed and processing, the government has initiated several measures to help aqua farmers.

As per the data provided by Minister for Fisheries Seediri Appalaraju in the State Assembly during the Monsoon session, as many as 27 integrated aquaculture labs have been sanctioned and eight existing labs are being upgraded. The estimated cost of it is Rs 50.30 crore.

Already 14 aquaculture labs and three mobile labs are operational and 21 are expected be operational by year end.In view of the frequent complaints regarding diseases to shrimp, particularly to L Vannamei, the government has sanctioned Aquatic Quarantine Facility (AQF) Centre for L Vannamei at Bangarammapeta village in Nakkapalle mandal of Anakapalle district with a total project cost of Rs 36.55 crore.

This apart, hatcheries for sea bass and mud crabs in Bapatla district was sanctioned at a cost of Rs 38 crore.Freshwater Fish Brood Banks under JICA and World Bank projects were also sanctioned. Besides measures for improving infrastructure facilities for aquaculture in the State, emphasis was laid on strengthening extension services.

In all, 732 village fisheries assistants were recruited at Rythu Bharosa Kendras and measures were taken for supply of quality aqua feed and scientific advice through an integrated call centre. Power is being supplied at Rs 1.50 per unit to aqua farmers. It has been proposed to set up 10 processing and 23 pre-processing units at a project cost of Rs 546.91 crore to prevent distress sale of aqua products.