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October 1, 2014


Three Shrimp Farmers Pool Their Resources


Marimuthu Sudhakaran, Vijay Kumar and Narendra Varma Raju, who own shrimp farms in the state of Andhra Pradesh with a capacity of 4,000 metric tons among them, are pooling their farm and hatchery resources to supply their new processing plant, Royale Marine Impex.  The three men have lots of experience in shrimp farming.  Sudhakaran, a postgraduate in fisheries science, has 20 years of experience as a consultant, farmer and hatchery operator.  “My company, Aqualife System, operates 120 hectares of farms and a hatchery with a capacity of 500 million [postlarvae],” he said.  Kumar, who has 25 years in shrimp farming, owns Sharath Aqua Farms, which has 100 hectares of ponds.  Raju owns Gayaathri Hatcheries, which can produce a billion postlarvae a year.  He also has 100 hectares of shrimp ponds spread across several sites. “The three of us started building a processing plant in 2012 and finished it in August this year,” said Sudhakaran, who thinks India might produce 500,000 metric tons of shrimp in 2015.


The $10 million plant can process three metric tons of finished product per hour.  “We can easily produce for 15–20 hours a day, which means we can do 60–70 tons,” said Sudhakaran, who is sales and marketing director for Royale Marine Impex.  “We are currently on a trial run in the new plant.  We are in the process of getting approval from the Indian authorities—the Export Inspection Council—and we hope to be able to start shipping in the first week of October.  “The main market we are aiming at is the USA.  It is asking for a 10–12% glaze on P&D (peeled and deveined) and P&D tail-on, whereas Europe is asking packers for 15-20%, even 30%,” said Sudhakaran.  “This means our costs of production are higher for Europe and the product is slower to produce for us.  We can do 30–40 tons a day for Europe, when we can do 60 tons for the USA,” he said.


The plant has two IQF lines with the capacity of 925 kilograms per hour each and two plate freezers with the capacity of 750 kilograms per hour each.  It also has a cold storage facility with a 2,100-ton capacity.  The plan is to get British Retail Consortium (BRC), Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) and Global Gap certification, which Sudhakaran thinks might take two months.  “We are also in the process of getting approval to export to Russia.  After two months, we hope to start exports to Russia and the European Union, but we will start with other Asian countries and the USA,” he said.


Source: Undercurrent News.  Editor, Tom Seaman.  Indian Shrimp Farming Entrepreneurs Team Up on $10m Plant.  Tom Seaman  (  September 29, 2014.

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