Andhra Pradesh banks on aquaculture for economic growth
The government of India’s Andhra Pradesh state is looking into investments in aquaculture as an economic growth engine.
The state, located on India’s east coast, has been the top state in fish production in the country, accounting for 45 percent of India’s total seafood exports. During the 2016-17 fiscal year, its seafood exports reached INR 170 billion (USD 2.60 billion, EUR 2.12 billion) in value, out of the total INR 378 billion (USD 5.81 billion, EUR 4.73 billion) earned from seafood exports by the country as a whole.
Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy, in presenting his department’s budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, said the state is on track to achieve its production goals this year. Through December 2017, which marks the end of the first three months of the fiscal year, the state produced 2.7 million metric tons of fish and shrimp with a market value of INR 340 billion (USD 5.21 billion, EUR 4.26 billion). The three-month figures ending 31 March, 2018, have yet to be added into the state’s figures, the minister said in a statement.
While Andhra Pradesh has more than 970 kilometers of coastline, Chandramohan Reddy said the state government is currently focused on aquaculture as a means of growing its seafood production. Aquaculture currently contributes around 6.5 percent of the state’s gross domestic product, but the minister said in his address that with increased investment, he expects it to become an even bigger part of the state’s economy.
During the 2018-19 financial year, the state government has increased investment in the sector to INR 3.86 billion (USD 59 million, EUR 48 million), as compared to INR 3.66 billion (USD 56 million, EUR 45 million) last year. Apart from investing funds in the sector, the state government is also developing infrastructure that includes fishing harbors and fish landing centers.
During 2017-18 fiscal year, the ministry has set a target of 3.38 million tons from fish and shrimps productions that accounts for a market value of INR 421 billion (USD 6.46 billion, EUR 5.25 billion), Chandramohan Reddy’s statement added.
Photo courtesy of Hans India