Opening of the India-Myanmar land route last month through Manipur’s Moreh, the commercial border town will play a vital role in improving the trade between two countries besides addressing demand-supply gap of fish in the north-eastern states.
Convenor R K Shivachandra of the state level committee for actualization of Act East Policy also expressed that the traders in the region should explore the potential of aquaculture industries in neighbouring Myanmar particularly in Mandalay township to import fresh water fishes overnight considering the closer distance.
“One can import all kind of fresh fishes from Myanmar overnight (once the government infrastructures are ready),” Shivachandra felt.
A resident in Imphal when sought his comment said that the people are adapted to the smell and taste of the frozen fish instead of the nutritious freshwater fishes.
Fish supply from other parts of the country takes a week or more to reach the north-eastern states.
However, freshwater and sea fish from Myanmar could reach the region within a day or maximum of two days.
This came to light when a team of Manipur Journalists visited the important townships of Myanmar including Nyaung Shwe, Mandalay, Yangon etc during a weeklong sponsored press conducted tour in the third week of September organized by the Department of Information and Public Relations.
Interestingly, China and India are two biggest buyers of Myanmar fish. The demand for Hilsa known as king fish in Myanmar is high in India.
The north-eastern region although endowed with abundant water bodies, continues to reel from shortfall of fish supply despite the fact that the region’s population consumes fish.
As a result the population continued to depend on fish imported from other parts of the country since the past two decades.
According to a well-known fish importer in Imphal market, initially they buy fish from other parts of the country in a small scale by personally going to Dimapur.
“Now we directly import it from southern Indian states,” she said.