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India Aims To Increase Seafood Exports To Rs 1 Lakh Crore In 2 Years: Official

Indian shrimp exporters follow a robust regulatory and safety regime, as it helps them to ship quality marine products to developed regions like the US and Europe, a senior government official said on Wednesday. India is aiming to increase seafood exports to Rs 1 lakh crore in the next two years by increasing its processing capacity and shifting to higher value-added products, the official added.

Debunking certain reports of poor working conditions and safety standards, the official said India’s 548 seafood units are regularly inspected and monitored by various government agencies.

“These units follow world-class quality and standards, and the major export destinations are developed nations,” the commerce ministry official said.

Some reports that are alleging food safety and bad labour conditions in the Indian shrimp industry are wrong and baseless, the official noted.

All units are registered with MPEDA (Marine Products Export Development Authority) and FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India), and approved by EIC (Export Inspection Council) as mandated by the law.

The production and processing systems are regularly monitored by regulatory agencies in India and are subjected to audits by inspectors of the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration), European Commission, GAC of China, Export Inspection Agency, MPEDA, etc, in addition to scores of private and certification audits.

The pre-processing and processing units follow a HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point)–based food safety management system as per the US Code of Federal Regulations.

To promote the safety of products, the usage of pharmacologically active substances has been banned in aquaculture since 2002.

The national regulations and monitoring measures like the National Residue Control Plan, ELISA screening labs, in-house labs, and pre-export checks ensure that the food safety hazards, including antibiotic residues, do not enter the product value chain and pose any consumer health risk.

India achieved record exports of seafood in terms of volume and value by shipping 17,35,286 tonnes of seafood worth Rs 63,969.14 crore (USD 8.09 billion) during 2022-23.

Frozen shrimp remained the major export item in terms of quantity and value, and the US and China turned out to be major importers of Indian seafood.

Frozen shrimp, which earned Rs 43,135.58 crore (USD 5,481.63 million), retained its position as the most significant item in the basket of seafood exports in 2022-23.

It also accounted for a share of 40.98 per cent in quantity and 67.72 per cent of the total earnings in dollar terms.

The overall export of frozen shrimps during 2022-23 was pegged at 7,11,099 tonnes. The US imported 2,75,662 tonnes of frozen shrimp, followed by China at 1,45,743 tonnes.

During April-February this fiscal, marine products’ exports, however, dipped by 7.5 per cent year-on-year to USD 6.8 billion.

The US is the single biggest market taking in USD 2.4 billion out of USD 5.6 billion worth of shrimp that left Indian shores.

Indian shrimp has 40 per cent of the US market. A big chunk of Indian shrimp that makes its way to the US gets processed in some Latin American nations. India wants to do that processing locally to capture the higher value of exports.

There are around 1 lakh shrimp farms in India most of which are in Andhra Pradesh. 

(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. Apart from the headline, no editing has been done in the copy by ABP Live.)

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