Business Opportunities in India
Disease – free Shrimps to boost marine export
Our Bureau
Date of posting: 02-06-07
      The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), in an effort to boost exports of shrimps, has developed a disease-free rootstock for promoting its cultivation in India.

      Around 55 per cent of the value of marine products comes from exports of frozen shrimps but its shipments may not be released in time due to disease of shrimps, according to the Union Minister of State for Commerce, Mr Jairam Ramesh.

      Andaman and Nicobar islands had been identified as the bio-secure place where disease-free shrimps could be cultivated. MPDEA has already developed a disease-free rootstock, which will be made available to hatcheries by 2008. Around Rs 20 crore would be spent on this.

      Besides, MPDEA would diversify into tuna, as there is good potential for it off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

      Addressing a press conference in Cochin, Mr Jairam Ramesh said he would be holding a meeting of officials of the Agency and other stakeholders in Port Blair soon to explore the possibilities of promoting tuna in the region for commercial exploitation.

      The Government had identified Gujarat, Maharashtra and Orissa as new thrust areas in addition to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh where aquaculture production can be increased.

      In order to achieve self-reliance on aquaculture feeds, MPDEA would develop a centre at Tuticorin for making available the feed, "Artemia", to aquaculture farms in the country. Currently, the entire requirement of the feed is met by imports from the US, he said.

      Marine products exports during the last fiscal witnessed a growth of 12 per cent. Total shipments stood at $1.85 billion last fiscal against $1.64 billion in 2005-06.

      Mr Jairam Ramesh said, China had emerged as a major importer of Indian marine products, while Japanese imports had shown an increase last fiscal. Indications are that China might become the second largest importer of Indian products in another two years time. Demand from the US markets remained flat at 16 per cent, while the exports to Japan increased from 12 per cent to 16 per cent. Chinese share had gone up to 14 per cent, he added.

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