INDIA - There is good news for fish farmers in Andhra Pradesh after the State and Central governments announced that they are establishing a mud crab and seabass hatchery in Adavi village, Guntur district.
The first of its kind hatchery would be set up in ten acres land in Suryalanka, with Rs. 20 crore. The project is being set up jointly by Fisheries Department, National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) and Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA), a research wing of MPEDA, TheHindu reports.
The hatchery can supply quality fish and mud crab seed to about 7,000 hectares in Coastal Andhra Pradesh. The seed development (hatchery) will boost seabass and mud crab production and step up exports from the state, said Guntur district Deputy Director of Fisheries M. Balaram Murthy.
“Seabass is having great demand in the international market, and is most sought after variety in domestic market too. But, farmers are finding it tough to get virus free seed in the market and are depending on the neighbouring states,” Mr Balaram said.
MPEDA Deputy Director (Aquaculture) S. Kandan said a Detail Project Report (DPR) would be submitted to the government with world class standards. RGCA, which was running fish, shrimp and mud crab hatcheries at different states in the country, will extend technical support for the new project, he said.
“As there was huge potential for increasing crab production in Andhra Pradesh, MPEDA chairman Leena Nair and RGCA officials held discussions with Fisheries and Dairy Development Commissioner Ram Shankar Naik for setting up the hatchery in AP,” said Mr Kandan.
Farmers used to import mud crab seed from Sirkali in Tamil Nadu, by spending crores of rupees, and most of the seed die in transportation. Once the new hatchery at Suryalanka is completed, farmers can get fine quality seed at lesser price with minimum transportation cost, the MPEDA official said.
“Crabs are being exported to Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and other countries from Andhra Pradesh. Farmers are raising mud crabs in about 2,000 hectares in mangrove forests in Gilakaladindi village in Krishna district. Farmers are getting about Rs. 450 to Rs. 500 per kg mud crab in the local market, and the price is almost double in the international market,” said Mr Kandan.
National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) K. Shanmukha Rao said that mangrove forests in some thousands of hectares have been identified for mud crab cultivation along the coast in Andhra Pradesh.
“The new hatchery will help aqua farmers to take up culture in the mangrove forests,” the CEO said.
TheFishSite News Desk