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December 4, 2013

India

More on the Crop Holiday

 

Leena Nair, Chairperson of India’s Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), has justified the declaration of a crop holiday saying the action plan of the Authority is bona-fide and part of the MPEDA Act.  She said MPEDA, constituted by an Act of Parliament, has the authority to do everything to protect exports, augment raw material exports and conduct surveillance to ensure a healthy crop.

 

Asked about the outbreak of EMS/APHND in India, Nair said it could not be confirmed or denied, adding that it’s for the Department of Animal Husbandry to make that call.

 

Clarifying the misconceptions over the crop holiday, she said that the crop holiday was to prevent farmers from squeezing in a third crop during the winter dry-out period.

 

Nair said MPEDA had not banned shrimp farming in the country.  However, she said it only announced a crop holiday because of the spread of early mortality syndrome (EMS) in Southeast Asia.

 

The aquaculture season in India is mainly from February to early November.  Instead of having a shrimp culture in small pockets throughout the coastal states, it was felt that a uniform crop holiday would be observed by all stakeholders for two to three months, from December to early February, to ensure a complete dry out of ponds before stocking for the next crop.

 

Nair stated it was unfortunate that some websites had wrongly interpreted this as “MPEDA to halt all shrimp farming in India by the end of February 2014” [Yes, it was Shrimp News that made and corrected this mistake].  Hence, it had to clarify that it was not going to halt shrimp farming by the end of February 2014.  In fact the crop holiday from December 2013 to February 2014 was to be viewed as making preparation for a bumper crop in 2014, said Nair.

 

Sources: 1. The FishSite.  Export Authority Has Right to Protect Shrimp Exports.  December 3, 2013.  2. Business Standard.  No Ban on Shrimp Farming: MPEDA.  December 3, 2013.

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