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Kochi-based Marine Products Export Development Authority today launched a Self-Sufficiency Project at its Hatchery and Training Complex here, which would help aqua farmers export their produce in international markets and meet stringent quality norms. Under the project, nursery rearing facilities for Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia seeds have been set up for supply of quality seeds to the aqua farmers, officials said. Union Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, inaugurating the SSP, said there is an imperative need to provide best products as competition from other countries is increasing. "Every single aspect of the product which is going to the international markets has to be of best quality. This is the message that has to go to everyone along the value chain and not just the exporters.
Good practices and ensuring the quality should be the cardinal principle," she said. Hailing the efforts of MPEDA, the senior official said it has worked in close partnership with the exporter community and has been able to add value over the years. The Commerce Secretary also made a strong pitch for maintaining unified product standards for exporting globally to raise the country's reputation. "Instead of classifying the product quality standards for the European Union, the US or Japan, we should be able to export best quality products to every country. I believe it is time for us to actually understand that every single country in the world deserves the outstanding quality from us. This will raise our reputation globally," she noted. MPEDA Chairman A Jayathilak said plans are also afoot to expand the nursery rearing facilities at Hatchery and Training Complex at Vallarpadam, located near the International Container Terminal, for other species such as seabass, mangrove crab and vannamei shrimp. The Commerce Secretary, who visited Kochi as part of her official visit to Kerala, also launched the e-office of MPEDA, which is in tune with the National e-Governance Plan, to enable a fast, transparent and paperless office. With this, the MPEDA has become the second office in south India to be totally paperless, after the Spices Board. Teaotia also inaugurated the online business exchange platform, the 'Fish Exchange Portal', developed by the MPEDA for export of seafood from the country. The portal, a 'one stop shop' for the entire gamut of trade needs, would facilitate buyers across the globe to interact and source seafood from the exporters registered with MPEDA.
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