Seafood Of India

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Andhra Pradesh Takes a Multi-Pronged Approach to Promote Seafood Consumption

Andhra Pradesh, a coastal state in India with an extensive coastline of nearly 1,000 km, is blessed with abundant marine resources. Despite this abundance, the state has traditionally faced challenges in developing a robust domestic market for fish, shrimp, and aquaculture products. To address this issue, the Andhra Pradesh government has embarked on a multi-pronged strategy to promote seafood consumption among its citizens.

One of the key initiatives being undertaken is the organization of periodical seafood festivals. These festivals provide a platform for showcasing the diversity and culinary potential of Andhra Pradesh’s seafood, attracting a large number of food enthusiasts eager to sample the region’s delicacies. The recent three-day seafood festival in Vijayawada, for instance, saw over 4,000 participants savor unlimited seafood buffets.

In addition to seafood festivals, the government is also expanding its network of branded retail outlets under the ‘Fish Andhra’ initiative. These outlets, operating under a hub-and-spoke model, will ensure the availability of fresh, high-quality seafood to consumers across the state. By March 2024, the number of Fish Andhra outlets is expected to reach 4,000, up from the current 2,000.

To further incentivize seafood consumption, the government is offering attractive subsidy schemes of up to 75 percent to entrepreneurs setting up Fish Andhra outlets. These subsidies, coupled with training and handholding support, aim to make the business of selling seafood more accessible and profitable.

The government’s efforts to promote seafood consumption are driven by the recognition of its nutritional value and affordability. Raghuram from Bhoomi Organics, a partner in the seafood festivals, highlights the natural and organic nature of seafood, emphasizing its health benefits compared to hormone-induced chicken and milk.

Echoing this sentiment, K Kanna Babu, Fisheries Commissioner of Andhra Pradesh, underscores the importance of reducing reliance on international markets, especially during periods of global economic uncertainty. He cites the example of Brazil, a major shrimp producer, which has successfully developed a strong domestic market, reducing its dependence on exports.

The fisheries department is also working with Bhoomi Organics to educate the public about the benefits of consuming seafood, particularly among non-vegetarian households. Currently, the average seafood consumption per person in Andhra Pradesh is less than 8 kg per annum, indicating a significant untapped market.

Kona Joseph, a veteran aquaculture entrepreneur and consultant, advocates for the government to adopt a similar approach to promoting fish consumption as the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) did for eggs. He believes that targeted campaigns and education can significantly increase seafood consumption in the state.

In conclusion, Andhra Pradesh’s multi-pronged strategy to promote seafood consumption encompasses organizing seafood festivals, expanding retail outlets, providing subsidies, and educating the public. These efforts aim to not only tap into the state’s abundant seafood resources but also provide its citizens with a healthy and affordable dietary option.

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