Kochi, Jan 29: The India International Aquashow 2008, focussing on the tremendous business potential of the sector, will be inaugurated by Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan here on February 1, State Fisheries Minister S Sarma said today. Addressing the press here, Mr Sarma said Former President A P J Abdul Kalam will deliver the valedictory address at a two-day international seminar, 'Ornamentals Kerala 2008,' on February 3, being organised as part of the five-day Aquashow.
Stating India's share of international trade in ornamental fish was less than one per cent, Mr Sarma said the sector offered tremendous business opportunities to Kerala. Neighbouring Sri Lanka, which had made great strides in the area, had a share of nearly seven per cent, he said. To boost the State's aquaculture initiatives, the government had decided to float the Kerala Aqua Ventures International Ltd, which will help tap the trade and investment opportunities in the sector.
The report of an international consultancy firm, appointed on the basis of a global tender, had already been received and was due to be discussed by the Cabinet.
Speaking of the employment potential, he said the State Government would soon start on a pilot basis a scheme to assist local bodies to give technical and other assistance to youngsters, especially girls, to start aquafarms.
Speaking of the India International Aquashow, Mr Sarma said the conference would be attended by 250 delegates including traders, farmers, scientists, academicians, policy makers and suppliers of goods and services.
Several foreign experts, including from Thailand, Singapore, the US, Europe, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, will make presentations on the breeding and rearing technology of high value ornamental fish, technological innovations in aquarium keeping, global market trends and marketing.
A buyer-seller meet, scheduled for February four, would given an opportunity to local entrepreneurs to interact with importers from abroad.
The aquashow, being jointly organised by the Kerala and the Union Governments, will conclude on February 5 with State Home and Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishanan delivering the valedictory address.