The catastrophic cylone Fani, which hit Odisha’s coast on May 3, is likely to take a toll on shrimp exports, adding to the distress of exporters who were roiled by lower international prices last year.
"Cyclone Fani, which has caused devastation in the state, is going to affect the value of business by 20-25 per cent compared to last year. There is no regular supply of power to the factories yet," said Kamalesh Mishra, president, Sea Food Exporters' Association of India (SEAI), Odisha region.
Seafood exports from Odisha in 2018-19 were valued upwards of Rs 3,000 crore. Fani has severely affected farming in Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Kendrapada and Khurda districts. The impact hasn't been as severe in Balasore and Bhadrak, where most of the farms are concentrated.
Production loss is pegged at about Rs 300 crore due to a cyclone-induced power and water crunch. Poor electric supply has forced several processing units to run their cold storages on generators, said Rajen Padhi, a seafood consultant.
Owing to distress sales last year, farmers have pared seed stockings of shrimp by about 50 per cent this year. The after-effects of cyclone Fani have compounded their woes.
"While other crops are protected under crop insurance, shrimp farming has been kept out. The government should bring shrimp farming under crop insurance," said another exporter.
Shrimps from Odisha have a sizeable market in the US, Europe, Vitenam and Japan, among other countries.