No focus on commercial seaweed production in AP

[India] Despite the availability of seaweed in coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the governments are not focusing on commercial production, studies revealed. The areas surrounding Pulicat Lake are abundant with seaweed. The weed is useful for producing Agar, a laxative, an appetite suppressant and culinary ingredient which also used as a substitute for thickening soups, preserving fruits, ice creams and other desserts.

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Agar

It is also used in cigarette making, and also as therapeutic agent. It contains 80 percent fibre and is useful for good health, experts say. Seaweed is plenty in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar alongside Odisha. These weeds are classified into three groups such as green, brown and red. The weed contains proteins, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements, and also a rich source of iodine.

“The seaweed resources in our coastal waters are inadequate to meet the enormous demand for agar used also a gelling agent for foods and align production. There is an urgent need to take up the seaweed cultivation on commercial lines,” said Ch Vasantha Kumar, a retired professor in biology.

Andhra Pradesh Seaweed

Experts say that Southern parts of the Lake have good resources of weed varieties such as Enteromorpha, Intestinalis, E-Compressa, Gracilaria confervoides polysiphoria, Subtillessinea, C Linum and Hallophylla Ovalis.

Efforts for commercial exploitation have been completely slowed down due to restrictions on its export by Union government to preserve the same for the country.

 

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