Moderate start to aquaculture expansion plans in Andhra Pradesh.
November 27, 2018
The State government, which has identified aquaculture as one of the key economic growth engines, seems to have had a moderate start to its plans to expand the extent of cultivation of fish and shrimps. Out of the targeted 16,000 hectares of expansion of aquaculture in the coastal districts, the fisheries department has been able to add only about 2,500 hectares to the existing extent.
According to the officials, the current extent of aquaculture in Andhra Pradesh is about 1.92 lakh hectares. “This year, we have proposed to add another 16,000 hectares as aquaculture has a lot of potential. So far, about 2,500 to 3,000 hectares has been added to the existing extent. We expect to reach the target before the end of this year,” a senior official from the AP Fisheries department told TNIE.
The major reason for the slow progress in the expansion of the aquaculture area is said to be the delay in the aqua zoning exercise proposed by the government earlier this year.
The officials said aquaculture zoning initiative has been completed only in four of the nine coastal districts so far. “We are working with the remaining districts and set the target of December 15 to complete the aquaculture zoning process,” the official explained.
The four districts which have completed the aqua zoning exercise are Krishna, East Godavari, West Godavari and Visakhapatnam.
The process is underway in the remaining five coastal districts. “Once the zoning is done, it is just a matter of days to add new areas under aquaculture,” the official added. For the record, the government had proposed the unique aqua zones in order to streamline the aquaculture in the State.
As per the plan, zones will be identified and notified in all the coastal districts.
“The initiative will help us streamline aquaculture by eliminating illegal shrimp and fish cultivation. Not only this, unlike now, it will also help us in easy expansion of the farming. We can also create facilities such as approach roads, install power lines, de-silting of water bodies and others even before the cultivation begins,” another official observed, adding that the move will help in sustainable overall growth.
16,000 hectares target set by the State government for expansion of aquaculture in the coastal districts
2,500 hectares of fresh area added to the existing extent by fisheries dept
1.92 lakh hectares is the current extent of aquaculture in AP.