Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh government has come up with a plan to promote sale of snacks made of fish, prawn and crab, in the form of ‘ready to eat food’, in view of their high protein value and health benefits to the people.
The AP government had earlier taken up promotion of sale of fresh fish and its allied products, caught from both marine and freshwater, by setting up retail outlets at village/ward secretariats.
It would now promote the sale of snacks made of fish, prawn and crab on lines of Chicken 65, chicken pakora, chilli chicken, garlic chicken and so on by setting up shops.
The government entrusted the task to the department of fisheries to implement the plan as it wants the per capita consumption of fish and its allied products to go up to 24kg by 2024 from the present over 8kg. It also wants to make up for the dwindling export volumes by further promoting domestic consumption.
The government has roped in a Hyderabad- based agency called ‘Best Fresh Fries’ to promote consumption of fish and its allied products in the form of snacks. It wants to encourage unemployed youths to take up the sale of snacks made with fish and its allied products by setting up retail outlets.
The government provides 40 per cent subsidy for setting up retail outlets at a cost of Rs 10 lakh, Rs 20 lakh and Rs 50 lakh. Those from the SC, ST communities and women would get a 60 per cent subsidy.
The private agency would take up a survey to check the feasibility of setting up shops at various locations across villages, towns and cities. It also trains chefs to prepare the snacks. The retailers have to pay royalty of Rs 2.75 per cent to the private agency on the sale proceeds.
Fisheries officials including village fisheries assistant, fisheries development officer and assistant director have been asked to identify interested individuals/groups to set up shops by availing government subsidy based on eligibility, for the sale of snacks made of fish, prawn and crab.
The parties can supply these snacks to the fast-food centres, restaurants, hotels and other food business entities based on patronage from the people.
Krishna district fisheries officer Srinivasa Rao said, “As the state government has set up a target to promote per capita consumption of fish, prawn and crab by 30 per cent from 10 per cent, it is promoting mainly the unemployed youth to set up such shops at street corners like how chicken pakora is being sold.”