Kerala to become export capital of ornamental fishes: Minister

Kottayam, Feb 16 (PTI) Kerala would become the exportcapital of ornamental fishes in the country within five years,Minister for Fisheries and Registration S Sharma saidfollowing the Assembly''s recent approval to set up in the US abranch of a company formed by the government to provide thestake holders an opportunity for investment and trade in thesector.

Kerala Aqua Ventures International Ltd (KAVIL), a companywith public-private partnership, was set up in Kadungalloornear Aluva and is chaired by Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan.

Sharma, who was here to inaugurate the Rs 50 lakhKottayam Public Aquarium, said KAVIL has been exportingornamental fishes to Japan, Italy and France. Kerala isregarded as the export hub of ornamental fishes in thecountry.

The minister said despite India''s size, the country''sexport of ornamental fishes stood below one per cent in theinternational market while the much smaller Sri Lanka,has an export growth of eight per cent.

He said the centre and state governments launched ascheme by which a subsidy of Rs 80,000 would be given toKudumbasree units, having five members each, that are involvedin ornamental fish farming. This would ensure a monthly familyincome of about Rs 7,000, he said.

The 200 sq feet Kottayam Public Aquarium was built on 20cents of land with financial assitance of Rs 37.5 lakh fromRashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana of Union Agriculture Departmentand Rs 12.5 lakh from Matsyafed, the Kerala State Co-operativeFederation for Fisheries Development Ltd.

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