Aquaculture farmers in Andhra Pradesh have their fingers crossed as shrimp prices fall

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Harvested shrimp being loaded in trays for export at a pond in Krishna district.

Harvested shrimp being loaded in trays for export at a pond in Krishna district.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The aquaculture farmers have said that they are suffering heavy losses due to fall in the shrimp prices and no takers for their produce in the domestic market.

The shrimp traders say the shrimp exports have come down due to various reasons and they cannot purchase the stocks in bulk, while the farmers say that the aqua processing units and exporters have stopped procuring stocks .

“We harvested the crop in some thousands of acres. The shrimp stocks, which are perishable, cannot be stored for long,” says the farmers.

Aquaculture farmers say that the processing and export companies have not procured stocks in the last one month . Exporters are not paying prices fixed by the government, causing huge losses, the farmers complain.

“To solve the problems of shrimp farmers, the government has constituted a High Power Committee with Ministers, aqua traders, officers and owners of processing units. The committee, after conducting meetings with the stakeholders, has directed to pay a minimum of ₹240 price for 100 count, ₹250 per 90 count, ₹275 for 80 count, ₹295 for 70 count prawns, ₹395 for 40 count and ₹435 for 30 count shrimp,” the farmers say.

However, the traders are offering them ₹30 to ₹40 less per every kg of shrimp, the producers allege.

“With the rise in seed and feed costs, we have to invest huge amounts. Each farmer is suffering lakhs of rupees due to the fall in prices in domestic market,” says a farmer.

Fisheries Minister Seediri Appala Raju, during a recent meeting with aqua traders, said the government was taking all measures to improve the exports and help farmers.

According to Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), India has shipped shrimps worth about ₹ 57,586 crore ($7.76 Billion) in 2021-22 financial year, and the share of Andhra Pradesh in the overall exports was about 23.66% in quantity and 34.76 % in terms of total export value.

“Due to fall in exports in the last few days, the prices have come down. Efforts are on to improve the exports,” says an MPEDA official.

“I invested about ₹5 lakh in one acre. As the exports have stopped, the local exporters are not taking stocks from us, causing a huge loss,” says Ayita Satyanarayana, who have cultivated shrimps in about five acres.

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