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2017: Value Addition is the priority

With 13 per cent increase in the export value (till November 2016), MPEDA targets to increase production and productivity of the aquaculture farms says Dr. A. Jayathilak, Chairman, MPEDA to SMART AGRIPOST.

 

Q. What was the sea food export and import scenario in 2016?

 Ans: The Export scenario in 2016 was very encouraging.  We saw an increase of almost 13% in the export value up to November 2016 compared to corresponding period of last year. In dollar terms the increase is nearly 9%.  However, the volume growth is not very significant indicating a higher unit value realization.  During the period, the unit value realized in 2016 is US$ 5.42 against US$ 4.99 of 2015. Export of high valued shrimp and the value added products contributed to the increase in unit value. You can have a look on export figures which are as follows :

 

APRIL-NOV.  2016 (PROVISIONAL) APRIL-NOV. 2015
Qty. in Ton 665053 663489
Value in Rs. Cr. 23946.53 21263.62
US$ (Million) 3605.26 3316.22

 

 

As far as imports are concern it is done mainly for domestic consumption, value addition and re-exports. As per the available secondary data, around 32,700 tons of fish, shrimp, and cephalopods besides other items of sea origin such as shells, corals, agar and pearls were imported during April-Nov 2016.

In 2016, the aquaculture production has shown an increase of around 10% compared to 2015. Almost 90 % of the cultured shrimp production is L.vannamei shrimp. The estimated production of L.vannamei shrimp (up to November 2016) was 4.00 lakh tons. Others species were Tiger Shrimp, Scampi, Mangrove Crab, Tilapia etc.

Q. What are the priorities for 2017?

 Ans: Thrust for value addition is very high priority. There is scope to put up additional processing facilities to ensure better value realization through high end value addition.  Towards this, MPEDA is operating financial assistance schemes for infrastructure establishment for value addition. Under this program, we are assisting the exporters for further automation of the processing facilities, Development of skilled labour pool, maintaining stringent quality standards etc.

There is a scheme on ‘Seafreight assistance for the import of raw material’, so that the entrepreneurs can import the raw material for re-processing and export in value added form.

Secondly to augment the aquaculture production, MPEDA is already taking steps  by implementing a number of aquaculture promotional schemes such as assistance for setting up of farms, hatcheries, nurseries etc. as well as for implementing adoption or Better Management Practices by aquaculture farmers so as to increase production and productivity of the farms.

Indian seafood industry is currently propelled by the coastal aquaculture production. As far as sea caught varieties are concerned, steps are being taken by the respective State Governments under their Fisheries Regulation Acts to conserve their resources, besides augmenting fish production.