VISAKHAPATNAM, 30 September 2016 : In a major initiative to align the marine industry with the Centre’s ambitious ‘Digital India’ programme, the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has presented to the Andhra Pradesh government a digital list of the state’s farmers in the aqua sector, which would provide spot prices of seafood products in international markets on a real-time basis.
The software technology for aqua farmer data base has been developed by NaCSA (National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture), a registered society under the MPEDA. It was presented by MPEDA chairman Dr. A Jayathilak to Dr Manmohan Singh, Special Chief Secretary, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh during the three-day India International Seafood Show (IISS), which concluded recently.
“The pioneering technology will help the aqua farmers in Andhra Pradesh to tap market potential by having an easy access to marine product prices in global markets. We are also making efforts to integrate marine sector farmers all over India,” Dr Jayathilak said.
Appreciating the MPEDA’s initiative, Dr Manmohan Singh said Andhra Pradesh has become the aqua hub of India and is striving to emerge as the aqua hub of the world as well.
“We will align this software with our existing conventional technology for the benefit of our farmers. It will provide real-time information to aqua farmers in the state about market prices both in India and in international markets,” Singh added.
“The aim of the initiative is to promote sustainable small-scale aquaculture by empowering farmers to have an easy access to credit, quality seeds, feeds and other inputs and also to implement good aquaculture practices to reduce fish diseases, improve product quality and provide access to international markets,” Dr Jayathilak stressed.
Set up in 2007, NaCSA works for mainly cluster-based farmers. There are more than 300 aqua societies in Andhra Pradesh, and such a society can have a minimum of 20 and maximum of 70 farmers. The state has more than 300 aqua societies.
MPEDA has evolved a new mechanism for capacity building in shrimp health and quality management at grass roots level by developing a cluster-farming approach to organise small-scale farmers into aqua societies. Such an initiative has been appreciated by the WTO Secretariat also.
Ram Shankar Nayak, Commissioner, Department of Fisheries, Andhra Pradesh, and B. Sreekumar, Secretary, MPEDA were also present at the event.