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Shaphari: Certification Scheme for Aquaculture Products

  • 12 Apr 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA) has developed a certification scheme for aquaculture products called ‘Shaphari’.

Key Points

  • About:
    • Shaphari is based on the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s technical guidelines on aquaculture certification.
      • Shaphari is a Sanskrit word that means superior quality of fishery products suitable for human consumption.
    • It is a market-based tool for hatcheries to adopt good aquaculture practices and help produce quality antibiotic-free shrimp products to assure global consumers.
  • Components and Process:
    • Two Components:
      • Certifying hatcheries for the quality of their seeds.
        • Those who successfully clear multiple audits of their operations shall be granted a certificate for a period of two years.
      • Approving shrimp farms that adopt the requisite good practices.
    • Process:
      • The entire certification process will be online to minimise human errors and ensure higher credibility and transparency.
  • Significance:
    • The certification of hatcheries will help farmers easily identify good quality seed producers.
    • Certified aquaculture products will help exporters to export their consignments to markets under stringent food safety regulations without the fear of getting rejected.
    • It will bolster confidence in India’s frozen shrimp produce, the country’s biggest seafood export item.
  • India’s Shrimp Exports:
    • About:
      • India exported frozen shrimp worth almost USD 5 billion in 2019-20, with the US and China its biggest buyers.
      • Frozen shrimp is India’s largest exported seafood item. It constituted 50.58% in quantity and 73.2% in terms of total USD earnings from the sector during 2019-20.
      • Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are India’s major shrimp producing States, and around 95% of the cultured shrimp produce is exported.
    • Concern:
      • Container shortages and incidents of seafood consignments being rejected because of food safety concerns.
      • Consignments sourced from Indian shrimp farms have been rejected due to the presence of antibiotic residue and this is a matter of concern for exporters.
  • Other Initiative for Food Safety of Exported Products:
    • National Residue Control Programme:
      • National Residue Control Plan (NRCP) is a statutory requirement for export to European Union countries.
      • It is regulated and carried by MPEDA, under NRCP, definite sampling schedule and sampling strategies are drawn every year for monitoring the residues of substances like Antibacterial/Veterinary Medicinal Products and environmental contaminants.
      • Samples are collected from hatcheries, feed mills, aquaculture farms and processing plants, located in maritime states and tested for the presence of any residue/contaminant.

Marine Products Exports Development Authority

  • MPEDA is a nodal coordinating, state-owned agency engaged in fishery production and allied activities.
  • It was established in 1972 under the Marine Products Export Development Authority Act (MPEDA), 1972.
  • It functions under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • It is headquartered in Kochi, Kerala.
  • Its mandate is to increase exports of seafood including fisheries of all kinds, specifying standards, marketing, processing, extension and training in various aspects.

Source: TH

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