Centre to certify shrimp farms
Shrimp exports from India
- Frozen shrimp is India’s largest exported seafood item. It constituted 50.58% in quantity and 73.2% in terms of total U.S. dollar earnings from the sector during 2019-20.
- Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are India’s major shrimp producing States, and around 95% of the cultured shrimp produce is exported.
- India exported frozen shrimp worth almost $5 billion in 2019-20, with the U.S. and China are the biggest buyers.
- But a combination of factors had hurt export volumes in recent months, including container shortages and incidents of seafood consignments being rejected because of food safety concerns.
Why in News?
- To bolster confidence in India’s frozen shrimp produce, the Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA) has kicked off a new scheme to certify hatcheries and farms that adopt good aquaculture practices.
- The certification scheme for aquaculture products will be known as ‘Shaphari’, a Sanksrit word that means superior quality of fishery products suitable for human consumption.
About the Scheme
- The Shaphari scheme is based on the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s technical guidelines on aquaculture certification and will have two components — certifying hatcheries for the quality of their seeds and, separately, approving shrimp farms that adopt the requisite good practices.
- The certification of hatcheries will help farmers easily identify good quality seed producers. Those who successfully clear multiple audits of their operations shall be granted a certificate for a period of two years.
- The entire certification process will be online to minimise human errors and ensure higher credibility and transparency. Guidelines for certification of farms are under preparation in consultation with stakeholders.
- Overall, certified aquaculture products will help exporters to export their consignments to markets under stringent food safety regulations without the fear of getting rejected.
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