Pacific variety helps double shrimp exports

Exports of Vannamei variety of shrimps, farmed in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, in value terms were $730 million during 2012-13 against $385 million in the previous year.

India exported a record 91,000 tonnes of Vannamei shrimps (40,787 tonnes during 2011-12), helping total seafood exports increase 5 per cent in quantity and 12 per cent in earnings.

Frozen shrimps, including other varieties, constitute 50 per cent of the value of total seafood exports, and India exported 1.89 lakh tonnes of the produce, earning Rs.8,175 crore.

Seafood export figures for the last financial year are yet to be officially released by Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA). India exported 8.62 lakh tonnes of seafood worth Rs.16,597 crore, about $3.5 billion last financial year.

A leading seafood exporter here said that Vannamei, still an exotic variety in India and less than six years old in the country, had had a big impact on seafood business — for farmers and exporters.

Farmers had earned an average Rs.300 a kg of shrimp, MPEDA sources said here.

Vannamei shrimps, also called Pacific white shrimp and native to the eastern Pacific Ocean, emerged on the scene with a bang with high productivity.

Export figures have been impressive since 2010-11 when India exported 12,407 tonnes.

The steep rise in production has been supported by remarkable increase in acreage under Vannamei farming. MPEDA accounts put the total area under Vannamei farming at 22,715 hectares. But seafood exporters, some of whom are themselves involved in aquaculture, estimate that there may at least be 50,000 hectares under farming.

The economics of Vannamei farming worked in favour of the farmers, who were now abandoning traditional black tiger shrimp farming, said a seafood exporter.

Vannamei productivity is about 10 tonnes a hectare. The first year of Vannamei farming involves an investment of about Rs.16 lakh a hectare. Earnings in six months can be as much as Rs.25 lakh at an average price of Rs.250 a kg. The next cycle involves an investment of about Rs.12 lakh, including the Rs.10 lakh that go into the feed. As a result, farmers are even encroaching on forest and government lands for farming Vannamei though these farms cannot be put on paper and registered or officially shown as producing shrimp.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 9:30:24 AM |

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