Farming of cultured shrimps has picked up in Odisha, West Bengal and Gujarat and domestic consumption has also increased in the country. (Twitter)
Vishakhapatanam: India exported $8 billion worth seafood during the last financial year, a billion more than the previous year, according to tentative data available with Seafood Exporters Association of India.
Andhra Pradesh takes a major share in the exports with 40 per cent contribution in terms of value.
This was despite the Covid-19 related issues, diplomatic row with China and the recent Ukraine crisis, said SEAI’s national president Jagadish Fofandi.
Talking to this correspondent in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday, AP general secretary Pavan Kumar said the export bucket contained 8 lakh tonnes of cultured shrimps which was 60 per cent of the total exports in terms of value.
He said the central government has set a target of $15 billion worth exports by the turn of 2025. "The government set the target without offering any incentives that the exporters want for value added products."
There were recent issues that marginally affected the exports, he said, explaining that Russia closed its imports from India after the country went to war with Ukraine.
He said the diplomatic row and the border crisis made China stop imports from 132 Indian companies citing presence of Covid nuclei in the shrimps. They banned some companies permanently and put on hold some other exporters from India.
"We met the minister of commerce and the senior officials and they promised us to resolve the issue with China,’’ he said.
The other major issue has been the abnormal increase in the freight charges. The pre-Covid charges for a container (30 tonnes) to the US was $3,000. Now it has been increased to $15,000 to $18,000.
``The freight agents formed into cartel and hiking at their will in regular intervals. We are taking up the issue with the government seeking its intervention,’’ Fofandi said.
"This hike is cutting into the profits of exporters and the farmers. The US is the largest importer of shrimps from India followed by China, Europe and Japan." Fofandi said.
India is the largest exporter in the world fighting for first place with Ecuador. Growth of aquaculture is also impressive. Farming of cultured shrimps has picked up in Odisha, West Bengal and Gujarat and domestic consumption has also increased in the country.