Prawn growers from six coastal districts staged a demonstration here on Wednesday alleging cheating by an export agency. A large number of growers from East and West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore districts gathered at the residence of the owner of the export agency here, demanding clearance of dues. At a meeting held at the office of the Narsapur DSP later with the growers and the exporter at the instance of DSP Raghuveera Reddy, the trader reportedly agreed to clear the dues within a fortnight.

According to information, the export agency based at Veeravasaram in the district, was purchasing shrimp on credit. The agency had allegedly failed to make payments in the last 20 months and when the dues mounted to over Rs. 30 crore, the farmers became panicky.

The shrimp, chiefly the vannamei species, grown in the six coastal districts has been exported to European Union countries, the US, African countries, Chain and the Far East countries.

Adverse conditions in the international market were cited as the reason for the agency’s failure to make payments on time. The farmers had been reportedly visiting the office of the agency for the last two days. They have reportedly sought police help in recovering dues a couple of months ago.