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Strategic Shrimp Project To Modernise Industry

THAILAND - The Thai Fisheries Department has finalised its second strategic plan for shrimp, focusing on managing exports in the lucrative industry through 2012.

Essential elements include upgrading shrimp farm standards to meet new global requirements, developing new potential farm sites and broodstock breeding, improving post-harvest management for added-value shrimp products and enhancing market potential at all levels, reports The Bangkok Post.

There is also a greater emphasis on research and development including laying out network cooperation for R&D in the shrimp industry.

Somying Piumsombun, the director-general of the department, said the second plan builds on the success of the first one, which was aimed at promoting the shrimp industry at all levels, from farming to processing and exports, to ensure product quality.

"The second plan will be a follow-up, with more strategies promoting clean farming techniques and high-quality shrimp products for export," she said.

Ms Somying said the plan passed public hearings last year and would soon be submitted for cabinet approval.

The cabinet will consider approval for both the plan itself and an 828-million-baht budget for 20 projects over the next three years aimed at beefing up the shrimp industry.

The budget budget is small compared with the value of lucrative shrimp exports, estimated at 269 billion baht over the three years from 2010-12.

Thailand plans to produce between 500,000 and 550,000 tonnes of shrimp over this period, mostly vannamei, or white, shrimp with up to 90% of output to be exported.

Also under the new plan, the proportion of black tiger prawns and freshwater shrimp will be raised to lessen potential risks from relying too much on white shrimp, such as falling prices and disease.

As well, increased R&D will see certification of more farms producing for niche markets such as different varieties of pesticide- and chemical-free shrimp.

the Fish Site Editor

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