Battery-operated vehicles for retailing of fish

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Hyderabad, Oct 8 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Dairy Development and Fisheries Minister Mandali Budha Prasad today said environment-friendly battery-operated three-wheelers and two-wheelers would be introduced for retail marketing of fish in the state.

Addressing a press conference here, he said Andhra Pradesh was a major producer of fish in the country and stood second in fresh water fish production and also in overall fish production in the country. Though the state was supplying fish to more than 16 states, the actual rate of fish consumption within the state was less.

He said though there was good demand for fish in cities, there was not much supply and the availability was confined to frozen shrimp or fish in high-end malls and the local traders, who sell fish in highly unhygienic and insanitated conditions. ''There exists a severe mismatch in demand and supply of fish, especially in metros.

In an attempt to bridge the gap between demand and supply, the fisheries department would introduce battery-operated tricycles and two-wheelers, which would cover 1,200 km and carry 50 kg ice box, for selling fish at various places in cities and metros, the Minister said.

The government would provide 50 per cent subsidy on each vehicle, the beneficiary contribution would be only ten per cent and banks would provide loans for the remaining amount.

He said the move would be advantageous for bot the consumers and fishermen as they would be assured of direct income generating activity and would get better prices as middlemen and traders would not be involved.

Earlier, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy distributed 100 three wheelers and 100 two wheelers for fishermen as part of the scheme.

Depending on the response, another 200 three wheelers and 400 two wheelers would be distributed by December, covering major cities and mandal headquarters, he said.

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