Farmers demand shrimp policy

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
26 March 2007, at 1:00am

INDIA - Shrimp farmers have demanded a policy for development over 52,000 hectares of land along the coastal belt in Surat and Bharuch districts for shrimp farming.

Surat Aquaculture Farmers Association (SAFA) office bearers recently made a representation to Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar, urging the state government to help develop shrimp farming through optimum utilisation of natural resources through easier land allotment policy along with adequate infrastructure.

The state government recently announced a package for development of coastal belt in the state and in areas having high potential, production of shrimps should be given priority status, as not only it generates employment for the rural folk but also helps the coastal economy grow substantially, says SAFA general secretary Manoj Sharma.

Gujarat with about 3.76 lakh hectares of coastal land — second largest area among all other states, for shrimp farming, contributes only 2.5 per cent to the total national production of around 1.45 lakh tonnes per annum, Sharma informs. Through a comprehensive strategy more areas could be utilised for production of shrimps and the total production could be enhanced, he says.

Currently, high quality odourless tiger prawns are being produced in over 1,500 hectares of land along the coastline in Surat district. These tiger prawns (Peneaus monodon) have hit the international markets in the US, Japan, South Africa and other European countries and in a short span of only five years, annual export turnover has gone up to Rs 50 crore, Sharma says.

"Along the coastline in Surat, so far, over 1,200 ponds covering about 1,500 hectares have been developed since 1995 and majority of them are located in villages in Olpad taluka and about 10,000 people in 22 villages are gainfully employed," according to SAFA chairman Pradeep Navik.

Source: Times of India