Aqua farmers, who were suffering due to poor exports in the international market for the last few days, may suffer about ₹25,000 crore loss during the ongoing crisis in aquaculture.
Andhra Pradesh, which stood top in shrimp production for over a decade, shipped more than 10 lakh tonnes of seafood, worth about ₹55,000 crores recently.
Aquaculture is being taken up in about two lakh hectares in coastal districts and more than 10 lakh families are directly and indirectly dependent on the sector. The farmers and other stakeholders were worried about poor exports and a fall in prices in the international market.
“In our company, more than 500 tonnes of produce will be processed every day. We are creating employment for more than 200 workers a day in the factory. As the shrimp exports were stopped to major consumers and drop in prices, work was stalled and many small and medium units are on the verge of closure,” said the manager of a seafood export firm in Krishna district.
Aqua farmers said that many exporters, who procured stocks, have not paid the amount and the producers are not in a position to take up the next crop due to losses.
During a meeting held at Bhimavaram, aqua farmers urged the government to intervene and ensure that they get a good price. “Many farmers are forcibly selling away their products at a lesser price due to the crisis in aquaculture. We request the Central government to hold talks with the importers of other countries and save aquaculture in the State,” said another farmer J. Srinivas of Kaikalur.
Meanwhile, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) Chairman D. Venkata Swamy and other officials will hold a meeting with the exporters in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.
Mr. Venkata Swamy, during his maiden visit to the State, is likely to discuss the crisis and other issues with the exporters and farmers.
More than 150 seafood export companies were there in West Godavari, Eluru, Krishna, Nellore, Visakhapatnam, Nellore, and other districts in Andhra Pradesh.