What is the News?
Marine Products Export Development Authority(MPEDA) launches a certification scheme for aquaculture called the “Shaphari Scheme”.
About Shaphari Scheme:
- Shaphari is a Sanskrit word that means the superior quality of fishery products suitable for human consumption.
- Purpose: It is an Antibiotics free Certification Scheme. It certifies hatcheries and farms for the production of antibiotic-free shrimp products. By doing that, it aims to:
- enhance the consumer confidence,
- meet international standards
- promote hassle-free export
- Moreover, the entire certification process will be online to minimize human errors and ensure higher credibility and transparency.
- Based on: The scheme is based on the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s technical guidelines on aquaculture certification.
- Components: The scheme will have two components:
- Certifying hatcheries for the quality of their seeds and
- Separately approving shrimp farms that adopt the requisite good practices.
- Significance: The certification of fish hatcheries under the Shaphari Scheme will help farmers easily identify good quality seed producers. Those who successfully clear multiple audits of their operations shall receive a certificate for a period of two years.
Reasons to launch this scheme:
- Firstly, India is the second-largest fish producer in the world.
- Secondly, Fish Sector provides employment to 14 million people in harvesting, processing packaging, and distribution.
- Thirdly, Frozen shrimp is the largest exported item from India. It constitutes 50.58% in quantity and 73.2% in terms of total U.S. dollar earnings from the sector during 2019-20.
- Fourthly, India exported frozen shrimp worth almost $5 billion in 2019-20 to the U.S. and China — its biggest buyers.
- Fifthly, Major Producing States: Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu are the major shrimp producing States.
- However, a combination of factors had hurt export volumes in recent months. This includes container shortages and incidents of rejection of seafood consignments because of food safety concerns. Hence, the scheme was launched.
Source: The Hindu