KAKINADA: The AP State Fisheries Department has initiated a plan to promote sea-weed cultivation along the coastal region, in a phased manner, under the Prime Minister Matsya Sampada Yojana.
This will provide employment to thousands of women as sea-weed is in great demand for industries in states like Tamil Nadu and also abroad.
There are different types of sea-weeds along the AP coast. The Kakinada coast is mostly having Kappa Thymus and this is suitable for sea-weed cultivation. In a flagship project, the state government has chosen East Godavari, Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts for this purpose.
In East Godavari, training has been given to some fisherwomen through zoom conferences by experts from Kochi. “The state government has framed guidelines for sea-weed cultivation and it would financially empower women,’’ said fisheries additional director Koteswara Rao.
He said the per-unit cost is Rs 8,500, of which 60 per cent would come as subsidy to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and there will be a 40 per cent subsidy to others. They can procure equipment like nets to start the sea-weed business.
The mode of cultivation of sea-weed is: the weed collected in nets is kept as such for 45 days and then the harvesting is done. If a woman wants to sell the wet weed, she can earn Rs 40 per kilo. If she dries the weed, they can get Rs 80 per kilo at the present market rate.
He said a feasibility study will also be done in Kakinada Bay. The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute has proposed some places in the bay as being suitable for sea-weed cultivation.
According to sources, sea-weed is used for manufacture of chemicals, food and painting. Botany professor Srinivasa Rao, an expert in sea-weed, in particular algae, said there is vast potential for sea-weed cultivation along the AP coast, in particular the Visakhapatnam bay, and growing of sea-weed would help the region maintain ecological balance....