Tiger prawn farming. (Photo: CIFE/Stock File)
Organic tiger prawns make their debut in Kerala
Monday, May 14, 2012, 23:40 (GMT + 9)
The first harvest of organically bred tiger prawns is coming up in Kerala ahead of the southwest monsoon season. The product will soon be made available as a premium brand to customers in Indian, American and European markets, informed the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).
Organic prawn farmers in the coastal villages of Alappuzha and Kochi will soon be reaping the benefits of this new trend, which has buyers escalating their demand for organic food as customers across the globe become increasingly health-conscious about their food choices.
Farmers expect demand to keep rising, New Kerala reports.
The eggs and feeds of these tiger prawns are all organically raised without the use of chemical fertilisers, farmers explain, an idea with increasing appeal to the seafood market markets.
“Though various species of fish are being cultivated organically, it’s the first time that tiger prawn is being cultivated in the state,” said N G Biju, of MPEDA, the project field co-ordinator, IBN Live reports.
“Similar projects had been implemented in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal and were found successful. Organically-cultivated prawns seeds have high immunity. Globally, demand for organic produce is on the rise. The farmers will get a premium price for their produce,” he added.
MPEDA Assistant Director N P Vinod stressed the benefits of organic prawn farming. He highlighted that, as opposed to products obtained through traditional farming practices, the food produced using this method is safe for consumption because no chemicals are involved in the process.
"From farm to fork there is a complete traceability in the system and there is no chemical or antibiotics involved in the production system. That makes it completely safe food for any consumer," he said.
In Kerala alone, more than 45 ha of farmland have been employed as part of the organic aquaculture project mainly to grow organic tiger prawns and freshwater shrimps.
“Now that we have found it to be successful, we have to spread this mode of aquaculture across the state. MPEDA had provided assistance to 13 farms in the state. The seeds are nearing maturity period for harvesting in the other 12 units too,” Vinod added.
The MPEDA has plans to cover 100 haby next year.
By Natalia Real