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Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying Shri Parshottam Rupala chairs first National Conference on Promotion of Seaweed Cultivation today at Kutch, Gujarat

New Delhi :- 

Seaweed cultivation is an alternate for employment generation of seaweed products as it diversifies marine production and its opportunities for enhancing fish farmer income – Union Minister

Pilot project of Kori Creek can be a game changer for seaweed cultivation- Shri Parshottam Rupala

To implement seaweed cultivation on PAN Indiabasis andemphasis promotion of seaweed cultivation, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying (FAHD),  Shri Parshottam Rupala chaired the National Conference on Promotion of Seaweed Cultivationon 27th Jan 2024 at Koteshwar (Kori Creek), Kutch, Gujarat. Shri Vinod Chavda, Member of Parliament, Kutch, Shri P.M Jadeja, MLA, Abdesa, Dr Abhilaksh Likhi, Secretary, Department of Fisheries, Smt. Neetu Kumari Prasad, Joint Secretary, DoF, Shri Sagar Mehra, Joint Secretary, DoF, Dr J.K Jena, Deputy Director General, ICAR , Shri Abhishek Pathak, IG, BSF, Dr L.N Murthy, CE,NFDB , Shri Nitin Sangwan, Director (Fy) Government  of Gujrat and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.

Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying (FAHD) addressed the participants, fishermen and fisherwomen and emphasized on importance of the seaweed cultivation. He also encouraged fisherman and fisherwomen for adopting seaweed cultivation considering wide product opportunities. Shri Rupala also mentioned that it’s a first national conference on seaweed cultivation which is an alternate for employment generation of seaweed products as it diversifies marine production and its opportunities for enhancing fish farmer income, reduces reliance on traditional fishing, and diversifies coastal communities’ livelihoods.

Union Minister also informed that pilot project of Kori Creek can be a game changer for seaweed cultivation. Therefore, we gathered here on seaweed cultivation site. He called upon all the stakeholders to come forward with their suggestions and inputs for making seaweed cultivation successful.

Secretary Dr Abhilaksh Likhi highlighted the challenges and opportunities of seaweed cultivation.  He emphasized on need to assess challenges and find out solutions in the seaweed value chain. He further added that Govt aims on innovations in seaweed production, deliberate on policy frameworks, regulations, facilitate networking opportunities and foster relationships. He also informed that end-to-end mapping of the seaweed value chain and addressing the bottlenecks in the value chain is need of the hour and our department is committed for it.

Union Minister along with other dignitaries visited various stalls of the exhibition installed by fisheries start-ups namely Climacrew (Gujarat) and Pukai Aquagri (Andhra Pradesh), research institutes namely ICAR- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), CSIR – Central Salt Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) and ICAR- Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) and NFDB (GoI). The stalls showcased the seaweed value added products and cultivation processes and material used. Union Minister interacted with entrepreneurs and scientists who have participated during his visit to the exhibition.

On the sidelines of the program, Shri Parshottam Rupala along with other esteemed dignitaries visited Kori Creek project site for cultivation of seaweed.On-field experiences and insights were given by scientists from Dr Divu, Sr Scientist, ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) Kochi, Dr Mangal Singh Rathore, Sr Prof. CSIR-Central Salt Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) Bhavnagar and Shri Hari S Thivakarentrepreneur from The Seaweed Company, Lakshadweep.

Smt Neetu Prasad thanked Union Minister and other dignitaries for their guidance and support in all endeavors andhighlighted the achievements/ progress made in the seaweed sector.Proceeding further, Union Minister and other esteemed authorities interacted with entrepreneurs and distributed refrigerated vehicles to Shri Hanif Umar Lakhan and Shri Amad Juma Uthar and motorcycles with icebox (PMMSY) to Shri Ishaq Jumabjai, Shri Saiyad Rukiyama Jenalabedin and Shri Madhar Reyanabai Abdulhamid. KCC was received by Shri Zala Vipulbhai Jalarambhai to cater the working capital requirements.

To support the post-harvest activities Smt. Hajarabai Alimamad Uthar received approval for construction of 30-ton capacity ice plant and Shri Zubedaben Gulambhai Baydani for 20-ton ice plant. To support fish production new Fin Fish hatchery was approved for Shri Imran Gulamnabi Baydani, new pond for Shri Mansukhbhai Shivabhai Aabasaniya. In addition, Ghed fish & farms producer company Ltd, Shri Mohit Rathod was given financial assistance for establishment of seaweed culture with monoline/tubenet method. The interaction involved open conversations, where the beneficiaries shared their experiences, challenges, and aspirations. In addition, Union Minister also addressed the queries of fishermen/fish farmers from various States/UTs during the conference.

The occasion witnessed the participants that includesfish farmers, fishers, fisheries cooperatives, and States/UTs Government officialsinvolved in fisheries management, scientists, and researchers from various fisheries universities, & colleges etc. Approx. 300 beneficiaries participated during the conference. It gave an opportunity to all participants to learn about the best practices and exchange ideas with the seaweed experts. The conference envisions a comprehensive approach to fortify and expand the reach of seaweed cultivation in fisheries sector for the benefit of the entire community.

With the culmination of varied stakeholders, the conference serves as an appropriate opportunity for identifying, fostering collaboration and partnerships amongst entrepreneurs, processers, farmers to embrace the seaweed cultivation through impactful experiences and success stories within fisheries community by enhancing awareness.

India’s fisheries sector is on a trajectory of progress through multidimensional interventions meticulously rolled out under the leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) is the flagship scheme of the Department of Fisheries (DoF) and entails provisions for financial assistance for various fisheries’ activities including seaweed cultivation, where Seaweed is receiving global reputation as an ocean wonder plant. It promotes marine biodiversity by serving as breeding and feeding grounds. It absorbs carbon, de-acidifies the ocean, and removes excess nutrients that may lead to toxic algae blooms.

With its environmental and health benefits, India’s seaweed sector is one of the focal areas for the Department of Fisheries’ flagship scheme, “Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)”. Initiatives have been launched to grow this embryonic sector, which provides diverse employment opportunities and environmental conservation for sustainable marine fisheries.  The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), implemented by the Department of Fisheries, lays out an ambitious vision for seaweed cultivation in the fisheries sector.