The body said in a statement that the state had identified 12,000 hectares suitable for farming the new breed.
The fish is highly appreciated in overseas markets. The U.S. imported 22,000 tonnes of fillets from South East Asian countries during 2012-13. Tilapia fillets have strong demand in EU markets as well.
M Shaji, deputy Director of the organization, highlighted that the projected annual revenue by farming this variety of Tilapia is around INR 7,000 million (USD 111.5 million) Business Standard reported.
He stressed that Nilotics variety is fast growing, getting a weight of 300-350 grams in just 4 months, and features many advantages over the currently farmed one.
Firstly, its flesh is whiter and tastier than that of the Mossambicus one. On an average 5 tonnes can be produced from 1 hectare in just 8 months time since this is a fast growing breed. On top, farmers are likely to get an average price of INR 150-200/Kg (USD 2.39- 3.18/kg), with lower production cost compared to other species of fish.
The government of Kerala issued an order allowing the farming of Nilotics as it is a foreign breed. The brood stock used is imported from Malaysia.
Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture [RGCA], based in Vijayawada, had started producing fingerlings of this variety three years ago, based on a technology adopted from World Fish Centre in Malaysia. They are aimed at farmers in Kerala.
Global farmed production of Tilapia is around 3.5 million tonnes annually, with an estimated value of USD3 billion. Among the countries that farm it, Brazil is at the top of the table.