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Marine Exports Get Quality Push as MPEDA Sets up New Microbiology Lab

In Agriculture, Business
February 10, 2020

India’s efforts to achieve its ambitious goal of taking its seafood exports to the next level got a major push today with the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) inaugurating its first state-of-the-art microbiology laboratory here.

Unveiling the laboratory, Union Minister of State for the Ministry of Food Processing Industries Rameswar Teli said the new microbiology laboratory at MPEDA headquarters would help the seafood sector to overcome the stiff competition in the global export market, particularly on the quality front.

MPEDA Chairman K. S. Srinivas said the laboratory would be used to test all sorts of seafood at various stages, including during production and prior to export, to avoid the presence of any bacteria in seafood. “It will ensure that the exporters are not faced with rejection of their products by any country on the grounds of sub-standard quality,” he noted.

The laboratory was necessitated by the fact that USA, the European Union and other major seafood importers were tightening their quality norms on a regular basis in the interest of the health of their population. This has promoted India’s seafood exporters to go for enhancement of the quality of their products to survive competition.

Teli expressed the hope that all other sectors under the food processing industry, including tea growers in Assam and elsewhere, would go for such a laboratory to promote quality and give a fillip to exports. He was all praise for the experts involved in the setting up of mega food parks in Palakkad and Alappuzha in Kerala, observing that work was going on in full swing.

MPEDA unveiled its laboratory on the third and final day of the 22nd India International Seafood Show organised jointly with the Seafood Export Association of India (SEAI). “Blue evolution: Beyond Production to Value Addition” was the theme of the biennial event attended by over 1,500 delegates, 50 of them from 12 foreign countries.

MPEDA Secretary B Sreekumar said the authority took just one year to set up the new lab from the conception stage. This microbiology laboratory would be in addition to the already existing conventional facilities.

G Jayapalan from the Export Inspection Council said the new facility would facilitate easy certification of marine products and would go a long way in achieving export targets. The other laboratories are in Kochi (Kerala), Bhimavaram and Nellore (Andhra Pradesh) and Bhubaneswar (Odisha).