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Village Economy Strengthened by Inland Fisheries Industry

14 August 2012

SRI LANKA - Aquaculture farming and inland fisheries industry are playing a major role in rural areas and with their vital contribution to strengthen the village economy while uplifting the living standards of the rural folk, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said.

“The growth in Inland fisheries and aquaculture farming has given people in the rural areas the necessary protein intake at a fair price while also helping to raise their income , he added, DailyNews reports.

“Without these industries poverty would have been much higher. These industries provides direct employment to more than 20,000 people and indirectly keeps about a 50,000 employed. In 2010, aquaculture farming and inland fisheries industry production was 52,410 tons and in the year 2011 it has increased up to 59,560 tons.

It is 13.6 per cent out of the country's annual fish production. These industries makes a two percent contribution to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well,” the minister explained.

Sri Lanka has a coastal belt of 1770 kilo meters, 300,000 hectares of inland water reservoirs, 160,000 hectares of lagoons and 103 rivers. Accordingly the fisheries industry fulfills around 70 per cent out of the total animal protein requirement of the country and 46 per cent out of it is provided through aquaculture farming. Aquaculture farming has shown the biggest growth rate of 8.3 per cent in the animal production sector and it has topped the population growth rate as well.

The Asian Pacific region is the main contributor of global aquaculture farming and it provides 90 per cent contribution to the sector.

Around 50 million persons in the Asian region are involved in these industries directly and indirectly since 2008 and they have earned USD 102 billion through exports in the year 2008.

All measures are in place to improve the standards of these industries and to derive additional income through these sources Minister Senaratne further stated.

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