Genetic Breakthrough To Boost India's Shrimp Industry And Exports
3 months ago
Seafood & Poultry
Seafood & Poultry

Genetic Breakthrough To Boost India's Shrimp Industry And Exports

Indian seafood exports surged in 2022-23, driven by increased frozen shrimp shipments. Decoding the genome of a local shrimp species is expected to improve productivity, profitability, and sustainability, establishing India as a leader in breeding and exporting native species, thus boosting the shrimp sector.

Indian seafood exports achieved record-breaking figures in 2022-23, reaching an all-time high in terms of both volume and value. The shrimp industry has faced challenges due to decreased shrimp exports and heavy reliance on a single exotic species. In a significant breakthrough, scientists at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Central Institute for Brackishwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIBA) have successfully decoded the genome of an indigenous shrimp species- P. indicus. This achievement is expected to revolutionize the shrimp industry, let’s see how.

Decoding P. Indicus Genome

The decoding of the genome of P. indicus is a remarkable achievement. The indigenous shrimp species has shown promising potential with a production capacity of 3-7 tons per hectare at moderate stocking density. Through genetic improvement programs, scientists anticipate a genetic gain of 4-7% per generation, resulting in doubled productivity, improved feed conversion efficiency, and increased profitability for farmers.

Capital Allocation

The first phase of the project has been allocated Rs 25.04 crore, with a total of Rs 100 crore allocated overall. This initiative aims to benefit the Indian shrimp industry, farmers, and the overall economy.

Market Performance

The shrimp market is poised for significant growth in the coming years, with a projected expansion of USD 6,492.94 million at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.01% between 2022-2027. India, one of the largest producers and exporters of farmed shrimp globally, has seen a decline of 40% in shrimp exports. However, the country’s seafood exports, in terms of both volume and value, reached an all-time high in the financial year 2022-23, shipping 1.7 million tons of seafood worth Rs 63,969.14 crore ($8.09 billion).

Top Implications

Let’s explore the implications of this genetic breakthrough in detail:

  1. Sustainability With Indigenous Varieties: To reduce a single species dependence and prioritize indigenous varieties, ICAR-CIBA has decoded P. indicus, the Indian white shrimp, a priority species as a part of the Make in India program. Currently, India relies heavily on the genetically improved Pacific white shrimp, Vannamei, which dominates global shrimp exports.
  2. Paving The Way: ICAR-CIBA emphasized that the genetic improvement of P. indicus will establish India as a pioneer in selectively breeding and exporting this indigenous species. By adopting modern smart farming systems, the potential of the genetically improved shrimp strain can be further enhanced. A nuclear breeding centre has been established, and necessary scientific support for genetic selection has been accomplished. Additionally, the genetic shrimp parameters from regions across the globe have been mapped.
  3. Boosting Indian Shrimp Sector & Exports: India’s seafood exports rose by 4.31% to USD 8.09 billion in 2022-23, primarily driven by increased frozen shrimp shipments. Frozen shrimp remained the major export commodity. The United States and China emerged as the major importers of India’s seafood. With the genetic breakthrough of P. indicus and the subsequent selective breeding programs, India aims to diversify its shrimp industry.

OFB’s Insight

The genetic breakthrough in decoding the genome of P. indicus holds immense potential for India’s shrimp industry and export market. By promoting indigenous varieties and reducing dependence on a single species, India aims to enhance self-reliance, productivity, and profitability for farmers. The successful implementation of genetic improvement programs will not only make India a leader in selectively breeding Indian white shrimp but also open new opportunities to supply selectively bred parent stocks worldwide.

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