Agri Business

Aquaculture professionals moot aqua farm products sale on Mpeda portal

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on April 19, 2021

One of the benefits of the portal is that direct payments from exporters ensure market prices to farmers

The Society of Aquaculture Professionals (SAP) will reach out to aqua farmersto create awareness about the e-SANTA portal that was launched by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (Mpeda) for direct sale of aqua farm products to seafood exporters.

The move is to encourage farmers to enrol in the portal as higher participation of buyers and sellers would facilitate its success. The portal provides a comprehensive and easy-to-use tool for shrimp farmers to get fair prices for their products raised in a responsible manner, Victor Suresh, President, SAP said.

Today, there is a lack of transparency as hundreds of farmers are supplying materials to exporters. However, the built-in registration and crop-tracking features make the farming practices transparent and traceable. Besides, payments from exporters directly to farmers would ensure market prices on time, he said.

“We should be aware that vested interests will try to derail it. Any deficiencies in the system can be corrected as it is based on a robust technology platform. When most of the farmers and exporters use the system, it will be beneficial for the entire Indian shrimp sector,” he told BusinessLine.

Sources in the sector also pointed out that shrimp aquaculture have been practised by small-scale farmers, who traditionally depend on intermediaries in sourcing the inputs and selling the produce. Shrimp farming, which requires high investment, incurs an average operational cost of ₹12 lakh/ha.

K S Srinivas, Chairman, Mpeda, said the portal would help check the age-old exploitation of aqua farmers and take their business to a new level with changing times. The benefits include providing a pan-India visibility to buyers about upcoming harvests and to farmers about the purchase preferences of the buyers.

“It also gives advanced search options to buyers to explore the crop as well as a notice board view of exporters demand listing to farmers. Further, eSANTA facilitates electronic negotiation (by SMS and email) between farmers and buyers even as the National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA) acts as the facilitator for the entire transaction/sale”, Srinivas said.

K S Rao, CEO, NaCSA, pointed out that the Centre works for the uplift of the small and marginal aqua farmers through organisation of clusters and maintaining best management practices in shrimp culture. It has so far registered 752 societies in eight maritime States with a farmer base of 18,211 covering 12,607 hectares of farm water area and producing an average 50,000 tonnes of Vannamei shrimp.

Aquaculture, especially for shrimp farms in the coastal areas, contributes a vital share of exports. The year 2019-20 witnessed 5,64,321 tonnes of cultured shrimp exported, realising ₹29,622 crore. Shrimp is the principal commodity in the country's marine export basket, which earned ₹46,663 crore by shipping a quantity of 12,89,651 tonnes of seafood in 2019-20.

India's shrimp aquaculture is concentrated in the nine coastal states of West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat. AP alone accounts for more than 70 per cent of the production.

Published on April 19, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor