Andhra Pradesh

China tests Indian seafood online for COVID-19 virus

China, which suspended imports of frozen seafood products citing the presence of the COVID-19 virus, began inspecting stocks at the Indian processing plants and export units.

After finding traces of nucleic acid on the packaging of the seafood, China rejected the marine products shipped from India citing a threat of COVID-19, besides blacklisting some international exporters a few months ago.

More than 500 seafood containers were stranded at ports in China for several days. India exports marine products to the United States, Europe, China, Japan, Vietnam, Middle-East and other countries from 30 ports.

In Andhra Pradesh, around 80 processing plants-cum-export industries are there, most of them in West Godavari, East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Nellore and Prakasam districts. Of the total, nearly 40 plants are located in and around Bhimavaram, in West Godavari district, Marine Product Exports Development Authority (MPEDA) officials said.

Exports picked up

Speaking to The Hindu on Wednesday, MPEDA Chairman K.S. Srinivas said that China has started inspecting the seafood products online in the processing-cum-export units located in A.P., Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat and other places in India.

“Seafood exports have picked up in the international market in the last few months and India is exporting marine food to all parts of the world. There is no need for aqua farmers to panic,” Mr. Srinivas said.

Virtual inspections

Due to COVID-19, China was conducting virtual inspections in the processing units and export companies. After completion of testing, China is releasing the containers, he said. In Andhra Pradesh, 13.92 lakh tonnes of shrimp (34% of the total production in India) is being produced in about 52,000 hectares, followed by Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.

Officials of the Export Inspection Agency (EIA), MPEDA and Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) are making efforts to boost the exports, the Chairman said.

“We are addressing the issues raised by China at different levels and the problem will be resolved soon,” Mr. Srinivas said.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 5:14:45 AM |

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