Seafood exports set to touch $8-bn mark 2022-23 fiscal

In 2021-22, India exported 13,69,264 tons of marine products worth US$ 7.76 billion, an all-time high export by value.

In spite of a three-year-long lull in the global market caused by the pandemic, logistical hurdles and strict inspections of shrimp consignments, seafood exports from India would most likely see an increase and touch an all-time high of US$ 8 billion in fiscal 2022-23.

Budgetary provision of Rs 6,000 crore for the sub-scheme, Pradhan Mantri Matsya Kisan Samridhi Sah-Yojana (PM-MKSSY), will boost primary fish production, thereby increasing the availability of fish for export also, it has been revealed. Access to institutional finance will give a fillip to the activities of fishers, fish vendors and micro and small entrepreneurs, improve value chain efficiencies and expand the market.

According to D V Swamy, Chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), the country is optimistic about achieving new heights through a multipronged strategy hinging on sustainable fishing methods, value addition, increased aquaculture production through diversification, and aggressively tapping into new markets.

Strategy lined up to boost exports

Further, the slashing of the customs duty on ingredients, such as fish lipid oil, fish meal, Krill meal, mineral, and vitamin premix which are used in manufacturing aquatic feed, will help to reduce the production cost, thereby providing a competitive edge to the entire stakeholders of the aquaculture industry.

As part of the strategy to boost exports in FY 2022-23, MPEDA has organised around 40 Virtual Buyer Seller Meets (VBSMs) with Japan, China, Russia, the UK, Vietnam, Germany, Malaysia, South Korea, Oman, Singapore, and Spain. In 2021-22, MPEDA organised 39 VBSMs in 21 countries.

It also physically or virtually participated in prominent seafood shows, including Seafood Expo North America (SENA) in Boston; Seafood Expo Global (SEG) in Barcelona; Japan International Seafood & Technology Expo, Tokyo; Fish International Bremen, Germany; Seafood Expo Asia, Singapore; World Food Moscow, Russia; and Busan International Seafood and Fisheries Expo (BISFE) in South Korea.

MPEDA has done extensive research on the seafood market in China, the second largest importer of Indian seafood, while similar studies for countries in CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), the Middle East and South East Asia have been planned.

MPEDA participation in upcoming trade fairs

Plans have also been drawn up for participation in upcoming trade fairs like Gulfood, SENA Boston and SEG Barcelona during February-April to gather knowledge on the latest developments in the industry and display assorted Indian seafood products in the overseas market to improve trade.

Noting that India has many processing units adopting state-of-the-art technology in seafood processing, Swamy said this makes the country a most attractive market for machinery manufacturers, suppliers and certification bodies.

Seafood export
Image courtesy: Pixabay

The Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA), the technology standardisation and transfer wing of MPEDA, is setting up the pilot project of Broodstock Multiplication Centre (BMC) of Penaeus monodon (tiger prawn), developed from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, in Visakhapatnam with the aid of Department of Fisheries. It is also raising the GIFT Tilapia fish project and research unit at Manikonda village in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh.

Further, the central quarantine facility, functioning in Chennai under MPEDA-RGCA, has been screening the pathogens in imported L.vannamei shrimp brood stock. Besides launching a virtual commerce platform E-SANTA connecting farmers and exporters, MPEDA has also been providing SHAPHARI Certification (applicable to an aqua farm for Good Aquaculture Practices) for residue-free shrimps.

MPEDA has been making required interventions in the production, value addition and market promotion of seafood to achieve the export target. Such a step has also become imperative to strengthen the brand, quality and competitiveness of Indian seafood and minimise rejections of shipments, especially in the European and Japanese markets.   

During 2021-22, India exported 13,69,264 tons of marine products worth US$ 7.76 billion (Rs 575.86 billion), registering an all-time high export by value, while shrimp production crossed one million MT. Frozen shrimp remained the major export item in quantity and value, accounting for a share of 53 per cent in quantity and 75 per cent of the total revenue.

The US was the largest market, with a 43.45 per cent share in dollar terms, followed by China (15.14 per cent), Europe (14.98 per cent) and South East Asia (10.04 per cent).

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »

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