Kochi, Jan 29: Crucial first steps for export-oriented organic shrimp production, new strategies to boost aquaculture, and industry inputs for proactive policies for rapid growth of the sector to achievean export target of USD 10 billion by 2022 marked the three-day 21st India International Seafood Show (IISS) which concluded in Margao today.
The biennial show will return in 2020 with Kerala’s commercial hub Kochi hosting the 22nd edition.
IISS 2018, organized jointly by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) and the Seafood Export Association of India (SEAI), drew more than3,000 delegates, including representatives from 12 countries and over 3,500 business delegates over three days.
The IISS, which visited the West Coast after 10 years, renewed calls for the region to catch up with the East Coast, especially states like Andhra Pradesh, who have made leaps in aquaculture and are strengthening their contribution to marine exports.
Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Shri Suresh Prabhu has pledged support to all states exploring aquaculture, while outlining plans to map potential land for culture fisheries using satellite imagery and drawing up a comprehensive marketing and development strategy to boost exports.Goa Chief Minister ManoharParrikar, who inaugurated the show,alsoexpressed interest in taking cues from AP and training farmers in aquaculture production.
The expo, featuring 325 stalls spread over a 7,000 sq m area, presented an array of advanced processing and packaging machinery, as well as cold storage facilities, testing equipment and fishing gear.A range of conventional seafood products and other value-added products were also on display.
MPEDA has been pushing for greater value addition across the supply chain and focus on quality for the demanding overseas markets.
“Value addition in ready to eat forms will also address the embargos raised by certain markets on account of biosecurity concerns. It is also imperative to address those concerns by implementing mechanisms to declare disease and pathogen free systems at the production level. Similarly, we also need to strengthen up the linkages of quality and traceability for improve the market access of Indian seafood in international markets,” MPEDA Chairman Dr A Jayathilaksaid.
He also noted that a key element for exports shall be to provide the fish as fresh as possible, if not alive. It is a potentially lucrative area of business with live edible shrimp and fish in high demand in the international market.
The Memorandum of Cooperation on with Switzerland’s COOP, signed during the IISS, to equip farmers and entrepreneurs to produce organic shrimp for the EU market, also marks a new direction for aquaculture in India.Aquaculture is not just the mainstay of Indian seafood exports, it also serves the economy in other ways by generating large-scale employment and putting to use saline barren lands and inland resources to raise food fish for domestic and international markets.
Amid growing consumer sensitivity and concerns about overexploitation of marine resources, sustainability has become a pressing issue and the IISS also became a platform for Indian exporters to showcase and market sustainable produce.
Across the three days of technical sessions held during IISS 2018, seafood industry stakeholders, policymakers and other experts discussed a range of subjects. It offered a platform for exporters raise concerns, including the need for clarity on elements of GST, streamlining of regulations and certifications, issues with delisting and so on.
An EU-India Shrimp in association with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands discussed various aspects of the trade on the concluding day. India is a leading supplier of shrimps to the EU market.
IISS 2018 awards were presented on Sunday evening for the Best Stall – Overseas (Asia Refrigeration Industry, Vietnam), Second Best Stall –Overseas (Glory, Vietnam), Best Stall – Registered Member (Gadre Marine Exports, Ratnagiri), Second Best Stall – Registered Member (KNC Agro Ltd, West Bengal); Best Stall- Indian (Ishida India Pvt Ltd, Gurgaon), Second Best Stall – Indian (Pari Chemicals, Mumbai).
Awards were also given to the product categories for the Best Convenience Product (Gadre Marine Exports, Ratnagiri) and Best Retail Packaging and Best Innovative Product (both awards won by Goregaon-based West Coast Frozen Foods Pvt Ltd).
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