The Gujarat Aqua Feed Dealers Association (GAFDA) has urged the shrimp exporters to support the farmers during the Covid 19 pandemic crisis.
Expressing concern over the sale of shrimps below the cost of production, Dr Manoj Sharma, president, GAFDA said, “The average cost of production in Gujarat is about 300 at a size of 50 count, provided the survivals are above 70% and the feed conversion below 1.5. These figures are often not realistic during the last couple of years owing to new problems like White Faecal Syndrome etc”.
During the past few days, the farm gate price of shrimp has dropped drastically. The farmers are forced to sell their produce at a lower price incurring huge financial loss, according to the Association.
Emphasising on the need of supporting each other, Dr Sharma further said, “We are all going through very turbulent times due to the COVID 19 situation. We are also part of a common fraternity dealing in shrimps, depending on each other for survival and growth. The farmer is the base of this value chain and his survival is important for the entire sector.”
Gujarat almost entirely depends on seeds airlifted from the Southern States. The power tariff in Gujarat is the highest in the country. It is around Rs. 8 per unit in Gujarat as against that of Rs. 2 in AP.
“Due to the lockdown and cancellation of regular fights, the seeds were brought in by cargo flights. This has also resulted in higher expenses this year. Harvesting small size shrimps are not viable for Gujarat farmers as the quantity will be lower and the costs will be higher, while an AP farmer can afford to harvest small sizes. If the situation continues like this, several farmers may either close their businesses or will take long time to revive,” added Dr Sharma.