Kerala says its new sea food park will boost seafood exports

BENGALURU: The mega sea food park that is coming up at the Industrial Growth Centre at Cherthala will give a fresh impetus to the seafood processing and marketing sector, which has been in the decline since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, the Kerala government said on Thursday.

The park, coming up on a plot of 68-acre is nearing completion. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had laid the foundation stone for the project in June 2017.

During the April-August period, seafood exports have declined by 24% as compared to last year. The export earnings have also declined by 14%. The state had achieved excellent results through seafood exports in the pre-Covid period. During the last financial year, the export of seafood from Kerala was around 1.5 lakh metric tonnes earning Rs. 5,020 crore. With the advent of the Mega Sea Food Park, the seafood processing sector is soon expected to return to the path of growth, the government said in a press release.

In the next phase, the project will be expanded with another 16 acres. Currently, three seafood companies and a packaging unit are operating in the food park. The land in the park will be given to entrepreneurs on a 30-year lease. Twenty-eight plots have already been taken over by various entrepreneurs. With completion of the park, an investment of Rs 500 crore is expected. Once fully operational, the park would generate about 3,000 directly and indirect jobs. The park will have food processing activities and value-added food production.

The mega food park is being constructed by KSIDC under the Industries Department at a cost of Rs 128 crore. Of this, Rs 72 crore is being invested by the state government and 50 crores by the central government and the remaining is a bank loan.

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The food park has three components – the Central Processing Centre (CPC) for seafood collection, grading, quality inspection, freezing unit and cold store; the Primary Processing Centre (PPC) for seafood peeling, cleaning, sorting and ice planting from harbours; and the Collection Centres (CC). The PPCs at Thopumpady, Vypin and Munambam will also be connected to it. The park is well connected by road, rail, air and seaport increasing its marketing potential.



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