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Society of Aquaculture Professionals (SAP) Gears Up to Promote e-SANTA among Aqua Farmers

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
Shrimps

The Society of Aquaculture Professionals (SAP) plans to spread awareness among aqua farmers about e-SANTA, the portal that was launched by the Marine Produce Export Development Authority (MPEDA) in a bid to eliminate the role of middlemen and let farmers contact buyers directly.  

SAP's plans will encourage more and more farmers to register at the portal. Higher participation of buyers and sellers on this e-platform will spell success for it.  

The portal offers a comprehensive and easy-to-use tool for farmers involved in shrimp cultivation to obtain fair prices for their produce. This is as per a statement given by the President of SAP, Victor Suresh.  

How e-SANTA will help? 

According to sources, a large number of small-scale farmers practice aquaculture, especially shrimp cultivation. These  farmers traditionally sell their products to intermediaries. Alas, farmers do not get the deserved prices. On the other hand, the intermediaries rake in profits. Shrimp cultivation, as such, demands high investment with an average operational cost of Rs. 12 lakh per hectare.  

According to the Chairman of MPEDA, KS Srinivas, e-SANTA would help to curb age-old exploitation of aqua farmers and take shrimp farming to a new level.  

The portal would benefit the farmers in a way that they would know the purchase preferences of their buyers. For the buyers, the portal would help them get a pan-India visibility on forthcoming harvests.  

So, it's a win-win situation for buyers and sellers. Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, while inaugurating the portal virtually had said, "e-SANTA will raise income, lifestyle, self-reliance, quality levels, traceability, and provide new operations for our aqua farmers." 

He had further added, "e-SANTA can become a tool to advertise collectively the kind of products the buyers, fishermen and fish producing organizations are harvesting, so people in India and internationally can know what is available and in the future it can become an auction platform." 

This is a supposed to be a revolutionary e-platform, as it will facilitate paperless, contactless, and cashless e-trade between aqua farmers and exporters. e-SANTA is available in several languages.  

Mode of payment on the platform  

The platform features details on product listing. It has an end-to-end e-payment system and NaCSA (National Center for Sustainable Aquaculture) is the escrow agent. The CEO of NaCSA, KS Rao, highlighted that, so far, it has registered 752 societies in 8 maritime states featuring a farmer base of 18,211 covering 12,607 ha of farm water area, producing an average of 50,000 tonnes of Vannamei shrimp.  

This is how e-SANTA works: 

  • Harvest date is fixed. 

  • Buyer visits the farm gate.

  • Harvesting is done in the buyer's presence. 

  • After harvesting, final count and material volume is verified. 

  • The buyer decides final amount and a delivery challan is issued. 

  • The material reaches the processing plant. 

  • Here, the final invoice is created. 

  • Exporter makes the payment. 

  • The transaction is displayed in the escrow agent's account (NaCSA account).

  • NaCSA verifies it and releases the payment to farmers. 

Aquaculture contributes a crucial share in exports. About 5,64,321 tonnes of cultured shrimp worth Rs. 29,622 crores was exported in 2019-20.  

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