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December 2, 2013

India

Controversy Over Crop Holiday

 

A controversy has broken out over the Marine Products Export Development Authority’s (MPEDA) announcement of a crop holiday for shrimp farming from the end of November 2013 until February 2014.

 

It is unlikely that shrimp hatcheries will observe the holiday because they question the authority of MPEDA in this matter.

 

An Agriculture Ministry official said that MPEDA could not declare a crop holiday since those actions fall under the jurisdiction of the states.

 

L. Satyanarayana, President of the All-India Shrimp Hatcheries Association, said a couple of weeks ago MPEDA told the Association that "traces of EMS had been found in our shrimp samples, particularly from a farm in Nellore and therefore, we need to tackle it.  ...However, the Coastal Aquaculture Authority says no such disease has been found in shrimp in the country.  Moreover, MPEDA has no authority to declare the presence of any such pathogen,” he said.

 

Satyanarayana also said “...MPEDA cannot declare a crop holiday since it has no jurisdiction over that.  I don’t think shrimp farmers will heed to the notification.  ...EMS is particularly related to Penaeus vannamei or white leg shrimp.  Vannamei farming is done throughout the year.  So, how can we observe a crop holiday?”

 

A Coastal Aquaculture Authority official said, “According to us, there is no such thing as EMS in India.”  The Authority issued a public notice Wednesday, November 27, 2013, saying that only it had powers to inspect or enforce regulatory measures regarding shrimp farming.  More importantly, it said that the authority had not given permission to MPEDA officials to carry out disease surveillance or monitor hatchery records.

 

According to Mohan Raju, a spokesman for the Shrimp Farmers Federation of India, only the Coastal Aquaculture Authority can regulate shrimp farms, “but MPEDA is the nodal agency for exports and perhaps has taken this step to ensure that shipments are not hampered.”

 

Background Information:

 

MPEDA Clarification on Crop Holiday

 

Early Mortality Syndrome Confirmed

 

Source: The Hindu/Business Line.  MPEDA Crop Holiday Move for Shrimp Farming Muddies Waters.  M.R. Subramani (subramani.mancombu@thehindu.co.in).  December 2, 2013.

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