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Shrimp exporters hopeful of Vannamei nod

INDIA - Shrimp exporters are hopeful of the introduction of Litopenaeus Vannamei in shrimp farming, a native species from South America, into India shortly.

A meeting convened by the commerce ministry on Monday has asked the ministry of agriculture for a speedy finalisation of its views on the introduction of the new species in aquaculture so that the export sector, which is struggling with other high-cost varieties, can heave a sigh of relief.

According to sources, the government will take a final decision on the issue by March. The export fraternity is hoping the species would be introduced within the next six months. The ministry of agriculture is currently opposing the move on account of ecological issues and on-going studies on Vannamei farming.

For the last couple of years, two companies - BMR and Sharath Industries - are farming the species in Andhra Pradesh on a pilot basis.

Talking to Business Standard, Anwar Hashim, the newly elected president of Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI), said, “The introduction of Vannamei shrimp is essential for the survival of shrimp aquaculture and exports.” The association had presented its view in detail before the commerce ministry.

“We are hopeful of getting a positive nod from the government by next March. The commerce ministry is looking into the matter seriously.”

SEAI has been vehemently demanding the introduction of Vannamei farming in India for the last two years.

India mainly cultures Monodon species like Black Tiger, Indicus and Macrobrachium Rosenbergii (fresh water scampi). Breeding these species is costly.

Source: Business Standard

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Ellen Hardy

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