As an effort to identify farm and hatchery unit for extending assistance schemes and ensure traceability, the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has launched an initiative to develop a GPS-based database of exportoriented aquaculture farms in the country. Under this scheme, MPEDA enrolls all the farms engaged in production of shrimp, shellfish and other exportable varieties of fish by providing cards carrying a unique identification number (Farm ID) and quick response (QR) code.
These cards contain basic information about the farm that would help to trace the produce from farm to consumer in case of detection of unwanted or unauthorized substances in the produce. The Pre-harvest Test (PHT) to screen the farm produce for banned antibiotics such as Choloramphenicol and Nitrofuran is also linked with the Unique ID issued to the enrolled famers. PHT certificate is compulsory for the exports of aquaculture shrimp to the European Union (EU). Releasing the cards, during the event on 25th February 2018, presided by the Union Commerce and Industry Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu at Vishakapatman, MPEDA Chairman Dr. A. Jayathilak, IAS detailed about the GPS data based card. He informed that highly accurate handheld GPS devices are employed for physical verification of the farms, besides collecting application from the farmers, generating a farm data sheet carrying various details of the farm and document verification. The cards were distributed among the enrolled aquaculture farmers by the Union Commerce and Industry Minister in the presence of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Dr. Jayathilak informed that the cards were implemented to address concerns of USA, Japan and the EU for stringent quality controls over exports of seafood and check traces of banned antibiotics in consignments. The validity of the card/enrollment is for five years or the valid lease period, whichever is less. The cards, are available both in English and vernacular languages such as Telugu, Odiya, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi and Gujarati. The cards for farm owned by the farmer and the farm operated on lease basis are in distinct colours.
Source: Aquaculture Spectrum