4 Mar : Kerala, known for its marine products, is setting up the country’s first Aqua Technology Park (ATP) at Aluva near Kochi as part of its efforts to promote ornamental fish production and export.
The state government has formed a company – Kerala Aqua Ventures International Ltd (KAVIL) – with public-private participation for establishing the park, which would provide the stake holders a unique opportunity for investment and trade opportunities in the sector.
Prof B Madhusoodhan Kurup, Advisor to the Kerala Fisheries Minister,told media persons at Kochi on Wednesday.Stating that the state government has recently taken several initiatives for triggering ornamental fish production and export, he said formation of ATP was part of the efforts.
Kerala, renowned for its traditional products and exports including coffee and tea, had almost become stagnant in the aqua sector.
"There is need to develop human and technical capacity for mass production of non-traditional products, including ornamental fish, identified by the state for interventions for its development and expansion," he said.
The objective of the park was to provide operators with a ready-to-use sites for establishing marketing and sales (domestic and international) of ornamental fish and satellite farms for production, Kurup said.
It was also aimed at securing at least 10 per cent of the global trade of ornamental fish export by 2015, which was currently estimated at 0.5 per cent, he said.
He said the project was expected to generate employment opportunity to over 10,000 people and fetch foreign exchange to the tune of Rs 300 crore.
The work on the export hub park, coming up in ten-acres of land, at Kadungalloor near Kochi, is in the final stages and was likely to be commissioned in another six months, Gopalakrishnan, Executive Director, State Fisheries Resource Management, said.
The government was targeting production and export of 1,000 lakh of fish per annum to international destinations including EU countries, USA and Japan, he said.
The export hub will have facilities to hold 200 lakh fish at a time, coming from various satellite farms across the country, for conditioning and make it suitable for long distance transportation, he said.