Drought may Take a Toll on Shrimp Ex­ports

The Economic Times - - Commodities Plus - Kr­ish­naku­mar.PK @times­group.com

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.

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