Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 27 (IANS): While the country cultivated around 34,000 tonnes of seaweed in 2021, the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has identified 342 farming sites for its cultivation, totalling over 24,167 hectares with a production potential of 9.7 million tonnes (wet weight) per year, an official said on Wednesday.
ICAR-CMFRI Director, Dr A. Gopalakrishnan, in his address at a national campaign on 'Non-conventional Aquaculture Systems', organised by the CMFRI as part of the Azadi Ka Amirt Mahotsav, cited the global production of 35 million tonnes, worth $16.5 billion in 2022 so far, to show India is far behind.
"The country is taking all measures to boost its production as the Centre has earmarked Rs. 640 crore exclusively to promote seaweed culture with a targeted production of more than 11.2 lakh tonnes by 2025, under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)," he said.
"The CMFRI has successfully standardised the practice of Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) which enables cage farming or bivalve farming along with seaweed farming in coastal waters. Seaweed farming can earn carbon credits in many ways," he added.