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Indian aqua dollar dreams vanished, farmers crawl back to land

INDIA - Aquaculture, once a dollar-earner, is now in deep crisis. Unable to sustain mounting losses, more and more aqua farmers are moving back to agriculture.</b> <br><br> The number of aqua farmers, which was about 1.20 lakh in the year 2000, has now slumped to 85,000 and the production of shrimp and tiger prawns in the State has plummeted from one lakh metric ton a year to 76,000 mt in 2005. <br><br> The State being a major prawn producer, accounting for 80 per cent of the production, the slump here has affected the overall aqua performance of the country. The country has come down to seventh position from No.1 slot. <br><br> Prawn-breeding was taken up by 50,000 farmers in Nellore, Krishna, Prakasam and the Godavari districts. In East Godavari it is spread in 17,000 acre and in West Godavari in 19,000 acre. <br><br> Farmers blame the negligence of the government in providing quality seed, infrastructure, lab, storage and marketing facilities, for their plight. The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) officials, however, say that lack of awareness and poor marketing strategies are responsible for the present crisis. <br><br> <i>Source: NewIndExpress</i>

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