Kochi, Jan 5 (UNI) Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today said a centre for processing oceanic tuna would be set up at the cost of Rs three crore at Intergrated Fisheries Project (IFP) here.
Inaugurating the 'New Fish Processing Complex' at IFP, Mr Pawar said the centre would be set up by his Ministry in joint venture with National Fisheries Development Board.
''The government will initiate steps to groom the IFP into a 'centre of excellence' in post-harvesting technology, value addition, human resource development and research and development,'' he said.
Mr Pawar said the newly facility, constructed at the cost of Rs one crore, was a step forward in modernising the institute.
''Fishing and ship repair activities of the institute will be de-linked to its sister organisations to make it focus more on related technology and research, '' the Minister said.
He said the IFP, which was formed in 1952 as the Indo-Norwegian Project, had played a major role in marine fisheries sector for several years.
''The institute with its centre in Vishakapatnam had improved the quality of life for people in the coastal villages especially in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu,'' Mr Pawar said.
Though fish had the potential to ensure food security, efforts to boost fish production should not be at the expense of sustainability of resources and livelihood of the traditional fishermen, he said.
He urged the scientist community to develop a technology to produce appropriate affordable protein out of fish for the rural masses suffering from malnutrition.
Kerala Fisheries Minister S Sarma was present at the function.
UNI MA AJ RL PM1628