Rs 1200-cr worth shrimps ready for export market in AP amid lockdown
April 09, 2020  16:34
The ongoing lockdown on account of COVID-19 could not have come at a worse time for the aquaculture sector that earns million of dollars through export of shrimp. At the peak of the season, the lockdown has pushed the sector into jeopardy, with farmers, industrialists and exporters each facing their set of problems and an uncertain future as shrimp is seen as a luxury product. 

Ready-to-harvest shrimp worth over Rs 1,200 crore is now lying in the ponds predominantly in East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh. 

The shrimp processing units in the state are not functioning to their capacity due to acute shortage of manpower even as the Marine Products Export Development Authority said it would invoke Clause 43 of the MPEDA Rules, 1972, and de-register the licences if processing of the produce was not done. 

Exporters are advised to remain supportive to the farmers in these difficult times so that they continue to engage in shrimp farming, which is the principal commodity of marine products exported from the country in terms of value, MPEDA secretary B Sreekumar told the processors and exporters. In the absence of export orders and little scope for processing, farmers fear their produce would only perish. 

Though China, one of the major markets for Indian shrimp, relaxed the restrictions for import, the exporters are unable to take full advantage of it as the processing is not happening adequately. In the last one week, close to 3,000 tonne of shrimp was shipped to China. Andhra Pradesh has a 50.41 per cent share in the country in shrimp production and earns close to 53 per cent of the overall revenue. -- PTI
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