Marine product SEZ in Machilipatnam: Minister

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Hyderabad, Jan 7 (UNI) The Andhra Pradesh Government, in collaboration with the Marine Products Exports Promotion Agency, proposed to set up a Special Economic Zone for marine products in Machilipatnam, a first of its kind in the east coast, State Fisheries Minister Mandali Budda Prasad said today.

Addressing a press conference on his return from the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) meeting in Kochi, he said 260 acres of government land had been identified in the port town for the purpose.

The NFDB agreed to set up pathogen-free shrimp seed multiplication centre in Srikakulam district, in collaboration with Moana Technologies, at a cost of Rs 30 crore, he informed.

The proposed SEZ would accommodate as many as 40 marine-products exporting units, Fisheries Commissioner Aravind Kumar said, adding that a container harbour would also be developed at the coastal town.

The State Government had drawn up an ambitious Rs 100-crore programme in the XIth Plan for not only improving productivity and production of fish stock in the state to 16 lakh tonne by 2011 from 9.4 lakh tonnes in 2006-07 but also improving the condition of fishing communities, including increasing their per capita income, the Minister said.

Taking a cue from neighbouring Tamil Nadu, the Government intended to develop a model village on the lines of the Kolathur Ornamental Fish Project near Chennai for rearing ornamental fish, which had good export potential, he said.

Under the NFDB's technology upgradation programme, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had positively responded to the state's proposal for reviving the Boat Building Yard in Kakinada at a cost of Rs 50 lakh to manufacture superior quality boats for the benefit of small and marginal fishermen, Mr Prasad added.

UNI SM JJ RL ND2004

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