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As Shrimp Output Set to Fall, Seafood Industry Stress on Sustainable Farming.

KOCHI: In the last decade Shrimp production showed a consistent growth, Shrimp production in the country is likely to drop by 10 to 15% this year as low prices and fear of spread of diseases among shrimps have forced aquaculture farmers to cut production in the farms.

The stocking in the farms in south Andhra Pradesh is down by half while in north and central parts of the state, the situation is better with 80% of the farms well stocked, said D Ramraj, the president of All India Shrimp Hatcheries Association.

In the last year, the shrimp production in the country went over 6 lakh tonnes. Ramraj also inform that, farms in Gujarat and West Bengal too will have lower production. Ramraj said, “The hatcheries will suffer heavy loss as we could not sell much seeds to the farmers."

The seafood industry feels the need for sustainable aquaculture to counter setbacks and increase production. The aquaculture farmers lost money last year when white spot and EHP diseases reduced the shrimp output. This year, the fear of diseases has led many to stock less in farms. “Little improvement in global shrimp prices and lack of funding support to farmers are the other reasons for the reluctance of farmers to go for full output," said Ramraj.

The chairman and managing director Kings group of companies, Shaji Baby John said, “The need of the hour is technology upgradation fund for sustainable aquaculture development." He also said that, the recent creation of separate department for fisheries and a 2% interest subvention on loans to farmers by the Centre will go a long way in accelerating this.

John said, “We are expanding this to larger areas by transferring technology developed by us to farmers covering the entire gamut of value chain, right from broodstock availability." The group recently launched sustainable, traceable, quality certified aquaculture hub model at Tuticorin.


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