New Delhi: The country's vast coastline provides huge potential for the domestic industry in terms of exploiting marine products and promoting exports, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Tuesday.
"Our potential is understated because we have 7,600 km of coastline. We have 13 coastal states including UTs. So, you can imagine how much (potential is there)," he said here at a function of the Export Inspection Council.
The minister said the vast coastline provides immense opportunities for the industry and to make it the "food basket of the world". India is one of the largest producers and exporters of marine products.
He said the industry also needs to work on standards and quality of those goods to promote brand India and shipments. Prabhu said that the ministry is working on all these areas to help industry and push ease of doing business.
Emphasising on the importance of brand India, he said: "if brand India dilutes, we will not be able to get the vest value of our exports."
The minister also launched three portals on safe food traceability, one laboratory, one assessment and export alert monitoring. He said that these digital initiatives would help boost shipments of quality agricultural and marine goods.
Speaking at the launch, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said that this would streamline the process of accreditation, certification and traceability in the country. With these portals all regulatory authorities, accreditation bodies and laboratories would come on one platform.
The move assumes significance as Indian agricultural and marine products face major challenges in developed countries such as the US and Europe. In February, marine product exports grew by 13.17 per cent to USD 460.5 million.
EIC is the official export certification body of the government and has launched this flagship project of Digital India initiative to keep pace with changing dynamics of the world.
In order to continue the vision for credible inspection and certification and to strengthen the confidence on Indian produce, three portals have been developed to reduce transaction time and cost in a transparent manner.
The portals not only provide an opportunity for ease of export but also plays an important role in the Go Green initiative by reducing paper usage and saving millions trees. To provide fast, efficient and transparent services, the complete export food chain has been integrated in this digital platform.
Primary production, chain catch, aquaculture pond, dairy farms and apiaries are all linked. One lab one assessment portal would provides unified approach to all stakeholders like accreditation bodies, regulators and laboratories by bringing them together on a common platform.
The export alert monitoring portal monitors non compliances raised by importing countries. It will also enable monitoring of alerts and action taken by multiple organizations involved in initial certification in the food safety and biosecurity and analysing the trend, understanding the trade barriers to reduce the alerts and enhance the export trade.