The Minister holds discussions with seafood exporters and other stakeholders on the strategy to be adopted to double exports
India has set a target of doubling its marine products exports to ₹1 lakh crore in the next five years, Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, has said.
This target will be achieved through sustainable fishing, ensuring quality and variety, aquaculture and by supporting the entire fisheries ecosystem. He pointed out that the country had a record shipment of fish and fish-related products worth over ₹50,000 crore in the financial year 2021-22, he said.
The Minister held detailed discussions with seafood exporters and other stakeholders on the strategy to be adopted to double exports. “We are looking at supporting the entire farmer ecosystem so that they can venture out in a safer way to longer distances for fishing activities in India’s EEZ (exclusive economic zones), increasing the output of fishermen and expanding their ability to export”, he said.
FTAs have been finalized with UAE and Australia, while negotiations for such an agreement were progressing with UK and Canada. The negotiations to reach an FTA with EU will begin in Brussels on June 17. He said the effort was to provide market access and new opportunities for exporters which would give fishermen a better future.
The Minister also assured exporters on the Ministry’s intervention to minimise the hurdles on the import of raw materials for value addition so that Indian can be transformed into a seafood processing hub in the near future.
He urged exporters to educate, assist and encourage fishermen to follow sustainable measures in fishing and also to preserve the quality of the catch, so that they will get better returns. Indian missions abroad have geared up to help exporters in expanding their trade, he said.
Goyal also held detailed discussions with fisher organisations from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puduchery and Karnataka. He complimented the traditional, small and artisanal fishermen in the coastal States who are doing sustainable fishing practices that have been followed in India for centuries.
India, he said, is respected for its sustainable fishing practices as the country is very careful not allow to fishing during the breeding period of fish. The memorandums given by the fish workers will help the country in the negotiations at the ensuing WTO meeting.
The Government has taken all efforts to promote fisheries and the PM Matsya Sambatha Yojana will support small artisanal fishermen with newer schemes for the benefit of the community.
He also dismissed rumours of shifting MPEDA office from Kochi, saying that the organisation has a very large setup here and it will continue to grow from strength to strength.