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MPEDA Targets 1 Lakh crore Seafood Export by 2025

"We now have a target of 1 lakh crore by 2025." We are working on it. We are attempting to create an ecosystem in which the gains can be sustained and improved in the future. That would be a more significant approach," MPEDA chief

Shivam Dwivedi
MPEDA Chairman K N Raghavan
MPEDA Chairman K N Raghavan

After a couple of years of decline, the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has set a target of 1 lakh crore in turnover by 2025, buoyed by the revival of seafood export in FY22. The MPEDA is taking a novel approach in this regard, establishing an ecosystem to sustain long-term gains through a diverse basket of marine products.

‘We had a difficult period from 2018 to 2019." There was a general economic downturn. Then came Covid-19. Another issue that afflicted the sector was logistics. "However, our exports increased last year, as per MPEDA Chairman K N Raghavan.

Raghavan, who was in Andhra Pradesh for two days for field visits, discussed a variety of issues pertaining to the marine products sector. "Despite the odds, India's marine product exports reached an all-time high of $7,740 million in 2021-22." Covid-19 had a negative impact on exports in the previous two years, but it improved last year. That was due to their tenacity. "There was a general revival in the sector," he noted.

Raghavan stated that the revival took place despite logistical challenges, which were quite a problem. "If you look at all sectors...everyone was talking about the increase in freight charges and the lack of container availability." "It is commendable that the (marine products) sector was able to overcome these challenges and perform well," he added.

"We now have a target of 1 lakh crore by 2025." We are working on it. We are attempting to create an ecosystem in which the gains can be sustained and improved in the future. That would be a more significant approach," the MPEDA chief stated.

Aqua Quarantine Facility:

Noting that the L Vannamei variety was a "very good product," Raghavan stated that they were looking into other fish varieties such as mud crab, sea bass, GIFT, and so on.

"It is always preferable to have a basket." Vannamei has served us well and remains a high-quality product. But, at the same time, there should be some variety. So we're looking at an Aqua Quarantine Facility for fish. "All of this will give us a good basket that will sustain us even if one (variety) suffers a setback," he said.

He stated that a new AQF would be established soon near Tuni in Andhra Pradesh. On the issue of traceability, the MPEDA Chairman stated that aqua farms were being enrolled. "The purpose of enrollment is to promote export by ensuring traceability." That's why we went for enrollment, and it worked," Raghavan explained.

"An importing country wants to know if we have processes in place to trace if something goes wrong." They are always willing to accept that things can go wrong. But the important question is whether we have the processes in place to understand how and why things went wrong, as well as the mechanisms in place to correct them. "Traceability aids us in this," he said.

The European Union Commission plans to inspect India in September. In reference to Andhra Pradesh, which now leads the country in marine product exports, the MPEDA chief stated that the state has "really grown" in terms of hatcheries and (aqua) farms. The state government's proactive approach was also contributing to the sector's growth.

"The environment in AP is quite conducive. The state has taken steps to combat the antibiotic crisis. "The state government has acted quickly by taking the necessary measures to prevent difficulties and address challenges," Raghavan said.

Cluster farming has also thrived in the state, according to him. Over 300 societies are now affiliated with the National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture, which is based in Kakinada. There are also approximately 380 hatcheries in the state.

When asked about the proposal to create a product-specific Marine SEZ in AP, the MPEDA Chairman stated that it was "not on the table right now." "There is now a re-examination of the SEZ policy because new legislation is on the horizon," he added.

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