Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Nov 24, 2006
Industry & Economy
Agri-Biz & Commodities - Aquaculture
States - Andhra Pradesh
EU team visits Vizag fishing harbour, seafood units
The European Union has emerged in recent times as a major market, especially for Andhra Pradesh. Almost 40-50 per cent of the exports from the State are going there.
MEMBERS OF A DELEGATION from the European Union inspecting prawns at the Visakhapatnam fishing harbour on Thursday morning. - C.V. Subrahmanyam
Visakhapatnam , Nov. 23
A two-member team from the European Union visited the fishing harbour and some of the seafood processing units here on Thursday to inspect the conditions and quality standards.
Earlier this week, the team visited some of the processing units at Bhimavaram in West Godavari district.
The visit, undertaken periodically once in two years or so, assumes greater significance this time as the seafood exports from India to the EU have increased substantially in recent times in the wake of the anti-dumping duty imposed by the US.
Mr G. Mohan Kumar, Chairman of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) who accompanied the team, said that earlier Japan and the US used to be the main importers of the seafood from India, especially prawns from Andhra Pradesh, but "of late there has been a distinct shift in the market. The European Union is now our main market."
He said the US had imposed anti-dumping duties on some of the exporting firms and all efforts were being made to get it lifted or reduced.
"We have not given up on the US market, but we are concentrating on the EU market. Of course, the Japanese market is the traditional one," he said.
Mr U.K. Viswanadha Raju, President of the Seafood Exporters' Association of India, Andhra region, said the team had earlier visited Bhimavaram and inspected the processing facilities there.
"The European Union has emerged in recent times as a major market, especially for Andhra Pradesh. Almost 40-50 per cent of the exports from the State are going there," he said.
He said the aqua farmers in the State were no longer using antibiotics as "they are well aware now that residues could hit exports."
The farmers were also dealing with the disease problem in a much more scientific way now, choosing quality virus-free seed and adopting better practices.
He said the recent cyclone in the State, earlier this month, had ravaged the aqua farms in the south coastal districts of Nellore, Prakasam, Krishna, Guntur, West Godavari and East Godavari. The loss, he said, could be estimated at well over Rs 500 crore.
"There is no relief to the aqua farmers, as there is no insurance facility. We are pinning hopes on the next crop, as the prices in the international market are good this season," he added.
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