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MPEDA Starts Supply of High-health Tiger Shrimp Seed from Vallarpadam Complex

In Agriculture
February 19, 2019

KOCHI:
Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) started supplying high-health black tiger shrimp seeds from its new Multispecies Aquaculture Complex (MAC) at Vallarpadam on Monday.

The inaugural sale of the seeds was done by MPEDA Chairman K.S. Srinivas by handing over one lakh of them to former Kerala Director-General of Police Hormis Tharakan, who is also a progressive shrimp farmer.

MPEDA, a statutory body under the Union Government’s Ministry of Commerce & Industry, has developed these seeds with the help of its research wing, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture.

At today’s function here, Srinivas noted that lessons from the international market had prompted the MPEDA to promote the production of black tiger shrimp in Kerala. Substantiating, he said black tiger was the dominant cultured shrimp in India till a decade ago. In 2009, the country began experiencing non-availability of disease-free seeds of this species, prompting aquaculture farmers to shift focus to exotic vannamei species.

“The dependence on one species, that too an exotic one, is not sustainable in the long run,” he pointed out. “Figures indicate that major vannamei-producing countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and China have that variety of shrimp facing serious disease problems during the past five years. This dwindles their contribution of shrimp in the international shrimp market.”

In order to avoid any such situation in India, MPEDA has decided to encourage and expand the production of black tiger shrimp endemic to South Asia. Production of Black Tiger can support the shrimp exports much more in the long run, Srinivas said.

Of late, tiger shrimp’s higher price and increasing demand in the international market has led India’s farming community to restart farming of this variety. To meet that, the country needs more disease-free seeds of Black Tiger. It is for this reason the MPEDA has developed its MAC at Vallarpadom Island here nine weeks ago, with black tiger shrimp as the main species for seed production.

The MPEDA head said the nine-acre MAC will pave the way for the revival of black tiger shrimp farming in the country. In addition to this, the Rs 7.26-crore facility has begun supplying fingerlings of other fish species such as GIFT, Asian seabass, Cobia, Pompano and Mud Crab. Since December last year, MPEDA supplied a total of over seven lakh fish seeds to farmers in Kerala.

The MAC was opened on December 8 to facilitate production of safe seafood from disease-free breeds. Featuring a hatchery for black tiger shrimp and six nurseries, the state-of-the-art facility was inaugurated by Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu.