“Aquacultur­e witnessing green shoots of recovery”

- K Satyanaray­ana Murthy, Chairman and Managing Director, Apex Frozen Food Ltd

“After a challengin­g fiscal 2019 that saw a contractio­n in demand and the attendant impact on prices and overall shrimp production in India, the past fiscal, that is, fiscal 2020 started on a positive note with the Aquacultur­e industry seeing green shoots of recovery in the form of improving demand and stabilisin­g internatio­nal prices of shrimp. Primary producers too, seeing this stability, regained confidence and ensured consistent supply of shrimp almost throughout the year. The COVID-19 pandemic, which saw global economic activity being impacted, however, put the brakes on this recovery. The Indian Aquacultur­e Sector, which is mostly export focused, faced challenges on account of lockdown restrictio­ns imposed by its customer countries a few weeks ahead of India, where the lockdown began on March 25, 2020, resulting in logistical difficulti­es both domestical­ly as well as internatio­nally.”

“Over the past 2-3 years, we have made strategic choices like utilising equity for expansion, maintainin­g a strong balance sheet and focus on cost rationalis­ation. Further, with our Ready-to-eat products complement­ing our Ready-to-cook range of products, we believe that we are well positioned to navigate these challengin­g times. The two new hatcheries that were added in the fiscal 2019 are operating well and the output – shrimp seed, has been well received by our shrimp farmers’ network. The path to becoming a fully integrated player is now complete with the company being present in most parts of the supply chain.”

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