INDIA - While the Indian frozen shrimp export market is expected to reach nearly $17 billion by 2017, the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (Assocham) has called to promote brackish water aquaculture for shrimp production.
The association said, in a report, although the shrimp production potential is enormous for the country, estimated at over 11 lakh hectares (ha) available for brackish water, only 8.5 per cent, accounting for about 1 lakh ha has been brought under shrimp cultivation.
Brackish water is needed for shrimp farming and is the natural habitat of the crustacean.
"Over-exploitation of shrimp from natural sources and the ever-increasing demand for shrimp and shrimp products globally has resulted in a wide demand-supply gap, thereby necessitating the need for exploring new avenues for increasing production of prawns and increasing brackish water area under culture," D.S. Rawat, secretary general, Assocham said in the report.
Indian shrimp exports in 2013-14 accounted for 301,435 tonnes valued at $3.21 billion and the volume export of cultured shrimp grew by 31.85 per cent in the time period.
The study has said that exports in the coming years are expected to rise by 36.71 per cent.
Though West Bengal had the largest available brackish water area of over 400,000 hectares, the state had brought a meagre 12 per cent area of about 47,488 hectares under brackish water culture as of 2009-10, the report said.
Gujarat, ranked second in terms of potential brackish water area of over 370,000 hectares, had brought only 0.5 per cent or about 1,916 hectares of area under brackish water culture.
However, it is the only coastal state where area under brackish water culture has increased by about 48 per cent, from 1,297 hectares in 2005-06 to 1,916 ha as of 2009-10, the report adds.
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