MPEDA to develop GPS-based database of export-oriented aquaculture farms

Ch RS Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on February 23, 2018 Published on February 23, 2018

Aqua farms to get unique ID cards

To ensure shrimp and exportable varieties of fish are free from traces of banned and unwanted substances such as antibiotics, the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has launched a initiative to develop a GPS-based database of export-oriented aquaculture farms in the country for their traceability as well as to protect the interests of end-consumers, the authority said in a press release.

Under the scheme, MPEDA is enrolling all the farms engaged in the production of shrimp, shellfish and other exportable varieties of fishby providing the farmers cards carryinga unique identification number (farm ID) and quick-response (QR) code containing basic information on their farms.

An estimated 100,000 farms covering about 195,994 hectares are under shrimp culture in India. Out of this, MPEDA has collected GPS data for 65,595 farms covering 148,321 hectares while enrolment has been completed for 54,165 farms.

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu will distribute the farm ID cards at a function here on Sunday in the presence of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. The State leads the country in shrimp exports.

MPEDA Chairman A Jayathilak said the purpose of enrolment is to identify each farm/hatchery unit for extending assistance schemes as well as for their traceability.

Quality control

The produce from the enrolled units can be traced from the farm to the end-consumer. The pre-harvest test (PHT) to screen farm produce for banned antibiotics such as chloramphenicol and nitrofuran is also linked with the unique ID issued to the enrolled farmers.

PHT certificate is compulsory for exports of aquaculture shrimp to the European UnionEU.

The measure will go a long way in addressing concerns of the US, Japan and the EU regarding stringent quality controls over exports of seafood, and check traces of banned antibiotics in consignments, Jayathilak added.

MPEDA regularly monitors the enrolled farms and trains the farmers in best management practices, empowers them with market information for getting better price for the produce, and conducts awareness campaigns to sensitise them about the ill-effects of antibiotics, it said.

Published on February 23, 2018
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