New Delhi: Amid China’s growing interest in Sea-cumber farming in Sri Lanka and its criticism for the adverse impact on local ecology, China will now provide free fuel to over 12 lakh farmers and 3500 fishing vessels on the island nation.
“The 10.6 million litres of diesel donation by China will be provided free of cost to:1232,749 farmers for harvesting 342,266 hectares of paddy fields across in Maha season 2022/23 (20L/hectare). 2all the 3,796 fishing vessels below 40 feet in (1,000L/vessel),” the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka tweeted.
The 10.6 million liters of diesel donation by #China 🇨🇳will be provided free of cost to:
1⃣🚜232,749 farmers for harvesting 342,266 hectares paddy fields across 🇱🇰 in Maha season 2022/23 (20L/hectare)
2⃣🚤all the 3,796 fishing vessels below 40 feet in 🇱🇰(1,000L/vessel)
— Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka (@ChinaEmbSL) November 27, 2022
As per a recent report by Geo-Politik, China has been extensively taking interest in Sri Lanka as the report revealed that the communist nation is investing in the sea-cucumber farms in Sri Lanka, that has the capability of boosting exercise performance and have anti-fatigue effects.
China also wants to facilitate the export of the species from Sri Lanka to China.
What is sea cucumber?
Sea cumbers are not a variety of cucumbers or even remotely related to it. They are little marine animals that dwell on the sea floor, with cylindrical shapes that resemble cucumbers.
Traditional Chinese medicine systems claim that it cures impotence, constipation, frequent urination, and joint pain, and increases longevity.
Besides medicinal consumption, it is also a part of Chinese cuisine. It is considered a delicacy in China.
It is in high demand in the international market with China being one of the major buyers, making it one of the most expensive seafood items sold globally.
Effects of sea cucumber farms
However, there have been reports of protests by the local farmers saying that these aquaculture projects are likely to have an adverse impact on their livelihood, the local marine ecology and the land.
The shallow coastal parts are fenced off for these sea cumber farms. The fences stop fishes and other aquatic animals from coming towards the coast where the local fishermen used to fish. The process is now being increasingly disrupted with more and more farms coming up on the shallow coasts.
The small fishermen who used traditional gear, that can only fish in shallow waters, depend on seasonal movement of waters to bring fishes close to the shore. But with the farm fences the yield is now going down, threatening their livelihood.
With inputs from agencies