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Why India's shrimp sector must become more self-sufficient

12 May 2020, at 2:31pm

India’s shrimp sector needs to develop its own supplies of larval feed and seed stocks, according to a new report.

The report, which was issued by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) looks into a range of measures to improve the export potential of the aquaculture sector.

Around 90 percent of India’s aquaculture production is generally exported. And, although exports have plummeted since the COVID-19 pandemic, the report warns that producers may struggle to meet demand once the movement of goods and people returns to normal – due to the lack of access to broodstock and larval feeds during the global lockdown.

CII has therefore recommended re-establishing import of broodstock from the US via special cargo flights, according to the Hindu Business Line.

As the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA) quarantine facility in Chennai is shut, CII argues that the imported broodstock should be allowed to be taken to hatcheries directly and sampled by RGCA inspectors onsite.

Subsidisation

The report recommends that the electricity tariff be lowered to a maximum of ₹4.50 per unit, since power constitutes 17 per cent of the production cost of shrimp.

It also recommends introducing a subsidy of ₹10 per kg of feed, which should be passed on to farmers through the feed mills - based on the production data or the purchase receipts of the farmers.

Looking at the long term viability of the sector, CII has also suggested developing a nuclear breeding centre for shrimp in India.