Drought may Take a Toll on Shrimp Exports
Kochi: Drought is threatening to hit aquaculture farms of Andhra Pradesh, which produces the bulk of frozen shrimps that India exports. More than 70% of India’s .₹ 33,000 crore seafood shipments are frozen shrimps, mainly of the vannamei variety.
Farms close to the Krishna River and in West Godavari are facing water problems, compounding the woes of farmers who have started stocking the farms cautiously following sporadic outbreak of diseases last year.
“Right now, prices are looking good and the threat of diseases is not there. But the drought is likely to affect farms,” said S Muthukaruppan, president of the Society of Aquaculture Professionals. He hopes for good rains in June and July, saying that may redeem the situation to a large extent. Low prices and occurrence of diseases led to a fall in aquaculture production last year — output fell more than12% from a year earlier at 3.75 lakh tonnes, said Muthukaruppan. The price of 30 count vannamei shrimp has improved by more than 30% to about .₹ 460 a kg now.
The farms require fresh water for exchanging water in the ponds.