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Aquaculture gets share of $1.3 million marketing grants

US - Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has awarded over $1.3 million in 26 matching grants to 21 states supporting agricultural market research and demonstration projects - including two consumer-related studies on farmed fish and seafood.

The grants, provided under the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program, explore new and innovative approaches to marketing US food and agricultural products and help improve the efficiency and performance of the marketing system.

Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has been awarded $72,000 to fund projects to identify consumer attitudes and preferences for seafood and aquaculture products in people aged 55 and more. It will also develop a marketing campaign based on the findings. The work will be done in co-operation with the University of Florida, the South Eastern Fisheries Association, and the Florida Aquaculture Association.

In Mississippi, the Department of Agriculture and Commerce and Mississippi State University has been given a $55,875 grant to fund investigations inot the market for farm-raised freshwater prawn. The money will be used to set up consumer and chef focus groups in three target cities.

"These 26 projects reflect the new realities of today's increasingly competitive global marketplace," said Mr Johanns. "They are focused on developing innovative, more efficient and market-oriented ways to benefit our agricultural sector and support our nation's growing economy in the 21st century."

the Fish Site Editor

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