Creating unemployment

Published: Sunday 31 August 1997

  Acquaculture threatens many< according to a study conducted by the Peoples' Union for Civil Liberties ( pucl), aquaculture can destroy more jobs than it can create. Debunking the claim of the industry that aquaculture can provide employment to about one million people, the study points out that five agricultural workers will be rendered jobless for every one person employed. Moreover, 20 million jobs of coastal people will be jeopardised if aquaculture factories are closed down as per the Supreme Court order on December 11, 1996. The study suggests that an aquaculture project with an outlay of Rs 3000 crore can create employment for only about 14,000 people. But most of the jobs will go to skilled outsiders in preference to local communities, a fact corroborated by a government study group which reported that a 100 hectare shrimp farm would employ only 33 people, half of them being scientists and technicians.Aquaculture can provide direct employment to only two persons per hectare for initial construction and the majority of the workers are employed only during the period of culture, the study says. The pucl study also points out that all forms of industrial shrimp farming, barring the traditional method, are non-sustainable.

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