Based on the Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA), the nation’s frozen shrimp processing industry is finding it hard to survive as factories are shutting down because of the shortage in raw materials, competition with low-cost white-leg shrimp vannamei in the export markets and inadequate government support.
As of right now, only 47 out of 105 factories remain operational. However, in excess of half of them are finding it hard to survive, primarily because of a shortage of shrimps, which can compete with vannamei in the international markets.
Due to this, the livelihoods of nearly 6 million people who are directly or indirectly dependent on the shrimp industry, are now in severe danger.
Insiders have stated that black shrimp and prawn are the primary raw material for these processing plants, however, the production of exportable shrimps has not risen enough to keep the plants running.
Simultaneously, the increased farming of vannamei shrimps in countries such as India, Vietnam, and its comparatively cheaper prices than the locally farmed black tiger and prawns affect export considerably.
During the fiscal year of 2013-14, Bangladesh fetched $550 million in export earnings. After that, earnings from export have been decreasing consistently.
In fiscal 2020-21, export receipts decreased 1.15 per cent year-on-year to $328 million, as illustrated by the data from the Export Promotion Bureau.