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Union Minister Parshottam Rupala Advocates for Seaweed Cultivation for Boosting Fish Farmers' Income

The National Conference on Promotion of Seaweed Cultivation marked a significant milestone in India's journey towards harnessing the potential of seaweed cultivation.

Shivam Dwivedi
Union Minister Parshottam Rupala and Secretary Dr Abhilaksh Likhi Advocate for Seaweed Cultivation for Boosting Fish Farmer Income (Photo Source: @FisheriesGoI/X)
Union Minister Parshottam Rupala and Secretary Dr Abhilaksh Likhi Advocate for Seaweed Cultivation for Boosting Fish Farmer Income (Photo Source: @FisheriesGoI/X)

Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying (FAHD), Parshottam Rupala, spearheaded the National Conference on Promotion of Seaweed Cultivation on January 27, 2024, at Koteshwar (Kori Creek), Kutch, Gujarat. The conference aimed to emphasize the significance of seaweed cultivation in India and foster its promotion across the nation. The event witnessed the presence of several notable figures, including Vinod Chavda, Member of Parliament, Kutch, Pradhyumansinh Mahipatsinh Jadeja, MLA, Abdesa, and esteemed officials from various departments and institutes such as Dr Abhilaksh Likhi, Secretary, Department of Fisheries, and Dr J.K Jena, Deputy Director General, ICAR, among others.

Union Minister Emphasizes Seaweed Cultivation

Union Minister Parshottam Rupala underscored the pivotal role of seaweed cultivation, highlighting its potential to diversify marine production, enhance fish farmer income, and mitigate reliance on traditional fishing methods. He encouraged fishermen and fisherwomen to embrace seaweed cultivation as a means of unlocking diverse product opportunities and enriching coastal communities' livelihoods.

Challenges & Opportunities:

Dr Abhilaksh Likhi, Secretary of the Department of Fisheries, shed light on the challenges and opportunities within the seaweed cultivation sector. He stressed the need for innovative solutions, policy frameworks, and collaborative efforts to address bottlenecks in the seaweed value chain and propel its growth.

Seaweed Cultivation Techniques:

Union Minister Rupala, accompanied by dignitaries, visited the Kori Creek Project Site, where they observed various seaweed cultivation methods demonstrated by research institutes and pilot projects. Cutting-edge techniques such as Raft Culture & Tube Net pilots showcased the potential of seaweed farming in bolstering marine-based food production.

Entrepreneurial Engagement:

The conference featured exhibitions by fisheries start-ups and research institutes, providing a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase seaweed value-added products and cultivation processes. Union Minister Rupala interacted with entrepreneurs and scientists, fostering dialogue and collaboration to drive innovation in the sector.

Government Support and Initiatives:

Significant government support was demonstrated through the distribution of refrigerated vehicles and motorcycles with iceboxes to beneficiaries, aimed at enhancing infrastructure and transportation capabilities in the fisheries sector. Additionally, sanction orders for various projects under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) were disbursed, furthering the government's commitment to fostering growth in seaweed cultivation.

Envisioning Future Growth:

With over 300 participants from diverse backgrounds, the conference facilitated knowledge exchange and best practice sharing, laying the groundwork for comprehensive growth and expansion of seaweed cultivation in India’s fisheries sector. It catalyzed identifying collaboration opportunities and fostering partnerships to propel the sector forward.

With robust government support, stakeholder engagement, and innovative approaches, India is poised to emerge as a leader in sustainable seaweed cultivation, contributing to marine biodiversity conservation and fostering economic growth in coastal communities.

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