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India: Government of India sets Rs 640 Crore for Seaweed Cultivation July 03,2020   |  Source: Krishijagran

Seaweeds are the macro algae growing in marine and shallow coastal waters. Recently, they have emerged as a new source of food, energy, chemicals and medicines. They are often termed as the ‘Medical Food of the 21st Century’ due to their use in treatment of goitre, cancer, bone-replacement therapy and cardiovascular surgeries.

In India, there are around 46 seaweed-based industries that are facing problems due to short supply of raw materials. These are used in the preparation of agar, agarose and carrageenan.

Scope of Seaweed cultivation in India –

Rich seaweed beds around Mumbai, Ratnagiri, Goa, Karwar, Varkala, Vizhinjam and Pulicat in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh; and Chilika in Odisha, provides a huge scope for the seaweed cultivation in India.

Seaweed cultivation will go a long way in supporting lives of coastal fisher-families, especially fisher-women, farmers and entrepreneurs. Keeping these things in mind, the government has setup a fund of around INR 640 crore for boosting seaweed cultivation in the country.

Seaweed species and their uses –

Red Seaweeds: Gelidiella acerosa, Gracilaria edulis and G. dura are used for manufacturing Agar, Kappaphycus alvarezii used in manufacturing Carrageenan

Brown Seaweeds: Sargassum wightii and Turbinaria

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)