Flood, disease to hit aquaculture sector in 2015-16

By TheHindu on 14 Nov 2016 | read

The recent outbreak of EHP fungi and floods will adversely affect shrimp exports.

The recent floods in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh and an outbreak of a fungal disease on shrimps may hit revenue of aquaculture companies and exports for the next fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, officials say.

Enterocytozoon Hepatopenaei (EHP), a microsporidia disease in India may have impact on the shrimp production and performance of aquaculture companies including Chennai headquartered Waterbase Ltd. Promoted by the Karam Chand Thapar Group, Waterbase is a leading manufacturer of high quality shrimp feed.

Talking to The Hindu, Waterbase CEO Ramakant V. Akula said: “We had a good run for four to five years. But due to the recent outbreak of EHP fungi and floods, Indian shrimp exports will also be adversely impacted. Currently, we are having discussions with international experts and domestic research institutes on how to control EHP fungi in India.”

Till recently, the Indian aquaculture firms were discussing only about Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) disease. Now, they have turned their focus on tackling EHP. For the last three years, both these diseases have been affecting shrimp production of Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico and China.

Regarding the recent floods, he said that they had to close down shrimp feed mill and processing unit at Nellore.

“Due to incessant rains and flooding in most of parts of Andhra Pradesh, shrimp farming have been adversely impacted. This will have an impact on shrimp feed sales as well,” he said.

Waterbase has drawn up expansion plans that include setting up a hatchery in Nellore next year, widening the dealer network and geographical expansion.

“By 2020, we would to increase our revenue aggressively. Over the next few years, we are planning to set up several hatcheries in shrimp farming areas to support farmers. We already have a feed mill and are also processing shrimps,” he said.

To increase production scale, Waterbase has initiated steps to merge itself with another group firm, Pinnae Feeds Ltd. and the process is expected to be completed soon.