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Vannamei shrimp farmers in AP facing problems, say experts

Ch. R. S Sarma
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Vannamei shrimp culture, which has taken roots in Andhra Pradesh, is now facing some problems, as there is an outbreak of disease and the enthusiasm of farmers is waning, according to experts.

At a kisan mela organised here on Thursday by the Kakinada centre of the Central Institute of Fisheries Education (CIFE), T. Rajyalakshmi, former director of the Central Institute for Brackish Water Aquaculture, said “Vannamei prawn farmers are facing problems. Greater caution should have been exercised in introducing the species.”

Licences

P. Brahmeswara Rao, Deputy Director of the MPEDA, said Vannamei shrimp farmers should necessarily obtain licence from the Coastal Aquaculture Authority and should stick to prescribed practices. He admitted that Vannamei farmers were now facing some problems in the State, with seed scarcity and diseases. In culturing an exotic species, he said, bio-security measures were ofutmost importance. L. Satyanarayana, President of All-India Shrimp Hatcheries’ Association, said shrimp farmers and hatchery owners should follow the guidelines and at present both were violating them and suffering heavy losses.

Domestic market

He felt that domestic market for shrimps should be developed by opening retail outlets in metros and other places, and “we should not depend on exports alone.” He also said there was need for a separate Ministry for fisheries. ‘Seafood exports are fetching more than Rs 20,000 crore in foreign exchange and the sector should be given due importance,” he said.

Returns to farmers

Neetu Prasad, East Godavari Collector, said paddy-cum-fish culture should be promoted to maximisereturns forfarmers.

Earlier, S.S.H. Razvi, Officer-in-Charge and Principal Scientist of the CIFE, spoke about the educational programmes taken up by the institute for fish farmers.

sarma.rs@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on March 14, 2013)
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