INDIA : The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has developed a database of Indian export-oriented aquaculture farms using information obtained through GPS.
With this initiative, the aim is to ensure that shrimp and other exportable fish are free from banned antibiotics and other unwanted substances.
"Such a measure will go a long way in addressing concerns of USA, Japan and the EU for stringent quality controls over exports of seafood," said MPEDA chairman, A Jayathilak.
The database was presented on Sunday by the Union's Trade Minister, Suresh Prabhu, at the Partnership Summit.
The MPEDA explained that all the farms engaged in production of shrimp, shellfish and other exportable varieties of fish would be enrolled by providing the farmers cards carrying a Unique Identification Number (Farm ID) and Quick Response (QR) code containing basic information about their farms.
In India, an estimated 100,000 farms covering about 195,994 hectares are under shrimp culture. The MPEDA has collected the GPS data for 65,595 of those farms covering 148,321 hectares while enrolment has been completed for 54,165 farms.
According to MPEDA Chairman Dr. A. Jayathilak, the purpose of enrolment was to identify each farm/hatchery unit for extending the assistance schemes and their traceability.
"The produce from enrolled units can be traced back from farm to end-consumer in case of detection of unwanted or unauthorised substances in the produce," Jayathilak said.