In the wake of the Indo-China trade war, the shrimp export to China is shrouded in uncertainty, thereby necessitating to develop a strong domestic market for fish and shrimp products in the country, says Ravi Kumar Yellanki, former president, SAP and MD, Vaisakhi Bio-Marine Pvt ltd.
Reiterating his demand for GST relief and incentivizing domestic sales of fish and shrimp, Yellanki said, “The government has to seriously think about doing away with GST on frozen shrimp. It is the need of the hour to develop infrastructure and incentivize shrimp sales in the country. The government gives export benefits. That’s one of the reasons why many people want to export.”
The shrimp industry in India had no sooner restored to normalcy than the Indo-China trade war cast a shadow on the shrimp export to China. India exports close to 30% shrimp to China.
Talking about the uncertainty, Yellanki said, “Already shrimp prices are low in China. Even without war also, the shrimp market in China looks gloomy. If China bans India, then we have to look for an alternative market. The other market is the domestic market. We need to definitely work on it. There is no doubt about it.”
Lamenting over the lack of market infrastructure, Yellanki urged the government to increase investment in developing infrastructure. He further added, “Let government be a facilitator. Let them provide cold storage facilities in all the metropolitan cities where there is a market. Once you have a cold store, the traders and farmers who are into fish and shrimp business will put all their products there and from there they can take it on a piecemeal basis and sell. Because one cannot sell shrimp fresh. Selling absolutely fresh is a logistic nightmare. The only way one can sell shrimp is frozen.”
To its advantage, India does not have too much shrimp at this moment. Also, India is the largest exporter of shrimp to the USA with about 40% market share. But the European Union (EU) market share has declined over the last three-four years.
“We need to increase our penetration in Europe again. Of late it has become low. For that, we need to have antibiotic-free shrimps. The whole industry is responsible for that, starting from hatchery to health care products. Everybody is responsible,” said Yellanki.
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