Cut Tariffs, Cheers to Seafood Exporters in Odisha – New Indian Express

by Express News Service

KENDRAPRA: Odisha’s seafood exporters are hoping to earn more after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a cut in tariffs on shrimp feed to boost exports in her budget speech on Wednesday.

Reducing tariffs on shrimp feed will increase the income of seafood exporters in the state. In 2021-22, seafood, mostly shrimp worth Rs 4,560 crore was exported from the state to many countries. We used to earn 7 US dollars by exporting a kilogram of shrimp. Odisha Aqua Traders and Marine Exporters Pvt Ltd Managing Director Manoranjan Kumar Patra said that due to the reduction in tariffs on shrimp feed, our profits will rise by 2 to 2.5 per cent.

Seafood exporters and shrimp farmers import about 50 percent of their shrimp feed and fishmeal from other countries. Apart from aquaculture companies, shrimp farmers, fishermen, fishing vessel owners and other workers will earn more due to the reduction of tariffs on the main inputs of shrimp production.

With a coastline of 480 km, Odisha has vast fish resources but only a fraction of them have been exploited so far. Shrimp is one of the country’s largest export sources. Commercial shrimp farming has become a vital part of the economy of the nine coastal districts of the state including Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur.

About 90 percent of the seafood exported from the country is shrimp. Reducing tariffs on seafood feed will create more jobs for people. On the other hand, Odisha Traditional Fish Workers Federation (OTFWU) has welcomed the launch of a new scheme under Prime Minister Matsya Sampada Yojana with a target investment of Rs 6,000 crore. This sub-scheme will enable the activities of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) fishermen, sellers and suppliers while also helping them expand markets.

Prasanna Bihera, Chair, OTFWU, said: “The fisheries department should use the funds to provide adequate and healthy fish markets and selling areas for artisanal fishermen.