From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Shaphari Scheme
Mains level : Not Much
Commerce Ministry wants to build confidence in quality, antibiotic-free shrimp products from India for the global market.
- The Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA) has developed a certification scheme for aquaculture products called ‘Shaphari’, a Sanksrit word that means the superior quality of fishery products suitable for human consumption.
- The Shaphari scheme is based on the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s technical guidelines on aquaculture certification.
- It will have two components — certifying hatcheries for the quality of their seeds and, separately, approving shrimp farms that adopt the requisite good practices.
- The certification of hatcheries will help farmers easily identify good quality seed producers.
- Those who successfully clear multiple audits of their operations shall be granted a certificate for a period of two years.
- The entire certification process will be online to minimize human errors and ensure higher credibility and transparency.
Bolstering confidence in India’s Shrimp production
- To bolster confidence in India’s frozen shrimp produce, the country’s biggest seafood export item, the Centre has kicked off a new scheme called ‘Shaphari’ to certify hatcheries and farms that adopt good aquaculture practices.
- Frozen shrimp is India’s largest exported seafood item.
- But a combination of factors had hurt export volumes in recent months, including container shortages and incidents of seafood consignments being rejected because of food safety concerns.
- Some recent consignments sourced from Indian shrimp farms being rejected due to the presence of antibiotic residue and this is a matter of concern for exporters.
- The National Residue Control Programme for food safety issues in farm produce and pre-harvest testing system is already in place.
- But this certification was proposed as a market-based tool for hatcheries to adopt good aquaculture practices and help produce quality antibiotic-free shrimp products to assure global consumers.
Frozen shrimp export potential
- Frozen shrimp is India’s largest exported seafood item. It constituted 50.58% in quantity and 73.2% in terms of total U.S. dollar earnings from the sector during 2019-20.
- India exported frozen shrimp worth almost $5 billion in 2019-20, with the U.S. and China its the biggest buyers.
- Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are India’s major shrimp producing States, and around 95% of the cultured shrimp produce is exported.