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India seeks to expand marine food exports to Africa

imports, exports fall.

Johannesburg: India, which has made a big impact at Africa’s biggest trade shows, wants to start exporting its marine products to the African continent.

A 50-member delegation from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry participated in Africa’s biggest trade fair — the South African international trade exhibition (SAITEX) — that started here yesterday.

“It is the first time we have come to such a large exhibition in South Africa to showcase India as the biggest producer of vannamei and a┬áhost of other aquaculture products with our land farming of fish,” said Leena Nair, Chairman of the Marine Products Export Development Authority.

“We are looking at value-added processed seafood coming in here,” Nair said.

Preetha George, a marine products exhibitor and Executive Director of Starfish Exports from Cochin, said there would be a market in South Africa for cultured shrimps known as ‘vannamei’ in India, as well as squid rings, both of which were quite popular here.

The Spices Board of India took up four of the stalls in the Indian section as its members attempted to grow its markets in Africa.

“Many of our members have been very happy with our participation at this fair in the past, hence there are more this year,” Spices Board chairman A Jayathilak told PTI.

“There is increasing demand for Indian spices with the great growth in the number of Indian restaurants and popularity of the spices with other communities as well,” Jayathilak said.

Jaspeer Kaur, deputy manager of the India Trade Promotion Organisation which brings the delegation from India each year at SAITEX, said the subsidy provided by the Indian government enabled even the smallest companies to participate in the event.

Opening the Indian stand at SAITEX, High Commissioner Ruchi Ghanashyam said Indian business houses were participating in large numbers because South Africa has a mutually beneficial trade relationship with India.

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