The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has launched an initiative to develop a GPS-based database of export-oriented aquaculture farms in the country to ensure their traceability and quality control. Under the scheme, MPEDA is enrolling all the farms engaged in production of shrimp, shellfish and other exportable varieties of fish by providing farmers cards carrying a unique identification number (Farm ID) and quick response (QR) code containing basic information about the farm. MPEDA chairman A Jayathilak said the purpose of enrollment is to identify each farm and hatchery unit for extending the assistance schemes as well as ensure their traceability. The produce from the enrolled units can be traced from farm to consumer in case of detection of unwanted or unauthorised substances in the produce.
“Such a measure would go a long way in addressing concerns of USA, Japan and the EU for stringent quality controls over exports of seafood and check traces of banned antibiotics in consignments,” he added. The QR-coded cards were launched by Union commerce minister Suresh Prabhu and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu during the state government’s Partnership Summit 2018 event here. An estimated 100,000 farms covering about 195,994 hectare are under shrimp culture in India. Out of this, MPEDA has collected GPS data for 65,595 farms covering 148,321 hectare, while enrollment has been completed for 54,165 farms. In Andhra Pradesh, more than 65,000 farmers covering an area of over 75,000 hectare has been enrolled in nine coastal districts of the state.