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MPEDA/NaCSANACACOLLOBORATIVEPROJECTONGROUP CERTIFICATIONOFAQUASOCITIES

REPORT OF THE FINAL WORKSHOP ON GROUP CERTIFICATION OF AQUA SOCIETIES


27th&28thOctober,Kakinada,AndhraPradesh,India

Summary: The project workshop finalized the Guidelines/methodology, road map, and other related documentsonGroupcertificationofaquasocieties.Adetailedanalysisonthepilottestingofgroup certificationguidelines/methodologywasmade,limitationswereidentifiedandsolutionsexplored. The workshop acknowledged that the MPEDA / NaCSA NACA collaborative project had made important progress on developing and pilot testing the group certification concept, methodology and emphasized the need to continue the journey to attain better marketing by addressing the limitationsidentified.Theworkshoprealizedthattheeconomicsuccessofaquaculturedependson theabilityofsmallscaleoperatorsnotonlyinsustainableproductionbutalsoinmarketingthesame forcommensuratepricesinglobalmarketsthroughappropriatevaluechainlinkages(e.g.usingthe market intelligence of the processor combinedwith group certification for small scale producers). One of the processors who had participated in the workshop has come forward with an offer to workwithafewaquasocietiesinpursuingthisnextstepoflinkingsmallproducersmoredirectlyto themarket.Theworkshopagreedthatitwouldbeveryvaluablenowtoproceedtothenextstage ofdevelopinglinkagesofselectedsmallscalefarmerclusters/groupstotheglobalmarketthrough interestedprocessorsintheeffortstowardsempowermentofsmallscaleaquafarmers.Aconcept proposal on linking small scale farmer clusters to markets through cluster certification has been developedforconsiderationbyMPEDAandotherstakeholders. KeyRecommendations: Considering the global developments with certification programs and the need to comply with mandatory and voluntary standards, the workshop strongly recommended that MPEDA/NaCSA and NACA should continue the present work on group/cluster certification andprovidetechnicalsupporttosmallscalefarmerclusters/societiesinordertobuildtheir capacityandpreparethemforparticipationingroupcertificationprogramsinfuture. Considering the importance of ICS in any group certification program, the workshop recommended that the project partners develop a strong training program on ICS and implement the training in a structured manner so that the capacity of ICS committees is significantlystrengthened Recognizing the importance of BMP adoption through cluster management approach and the efficient functioning of ICS to comply with standards (mandatory and voluntary), the workshop recommended that the project partners implement a systematic compliance analysis program in place so that selected clusters can be monitored and evaluated for compliancetostandardsandcompliancetoICSfunctioning. Considering the globalization of trade coupled with consumers awareness on the product quality (food safety, traceability), need for responsible aquaculture (adoption of BMPs, reducingsocialandenvironmentalimpacts)andstrategyonlinkingproducersandprocessers towards efficient marketing of produce (win win business relationship) the workshop stronglyrecommendedthatsmallscalefarmersmustbelinkedtomodernmarketssoasto remaincompetitiveandsustainable Recognizing the value of supply chain integration, role of processors, niche markets, ecosystem marketing concepts, etc, the workshop strongly recommended that NACA

developalongtermprojectonlinkingsmallscalefarmerstomodernmarketsthroughgroup certificationforfundingconsiderationbyMPEDA/NaCSA Consideringtheneedtomotivatesmallscalefarmerstoprepareforgroupcertification,the workshop suggested that as a promotional gesture in the initial stages, Government may considerincentivesintheformofequipment,capital,andinfrastructureforgroupswillingto participateintheproject. Recognizingthevalueofdocuments(e.g.groupcertificationguidelines,roadmapforgroup certification, brochure, training manual on group certification, etc) produced under the project, the workshop recommended that the documents be made available widely within Indiaandintheregion.TheworkshopstronglyendorsedtheideathatNaCSAshouldusethe documents in their ongoing programs to build capacity of clusters/societies on ICS functioningandgroupcertification The workshop strongly recognized the need for other key stakeholders (e.g. ICAR institutions,FisheriesColleges,CAA)tobemorecloselyinvolvedwithMPEDA/NaCSA/NACA in promoting the concept of BMP adoption through group/cluster management approach andgroupcertificationprogramssoastobenefitthesmallscalefarmersofIndia

1.1.Background Aquaculture contributes substantially to human food basket besides providing livelihood, economic viability and overall sustainability to coastal and inland communities. Aquaculture is highly diverse activity and consists of many species, systems, practices, people, environments and operations. Aquaculture products are perishablewithashortshelflife;thereforedistributionskillsandproductionplanning have to be honed to meet market demands. In a global village where products travel longer, the risks become more prevalent and complex. The increasing awareness on traceability, food safety / security demands focus on product quality characterized by efficient farm management practices in relation to surroundingenvironmentbesidessocialissues. Certificationisaformalrecognitionofproduceconformingtothestandardspecified bythecertificationprogramme.Sharingthefoodproductionguidelineswithgrowers, foodproducersandretailersspecifyinghowfoodisgrownandwhathasbeenused to produce it is an important contribution to the harmonization of trade enabling clear and transparent processes. Thus CERTIFICATION is seen as a tool of Communication between the primary producer and the end consumer enabling primaryproducereconomicfreedomwithsocialresponsibility. 1.2.MPEDA/NACATechnicalCooperation Sincetheyear2000,NACAhasbeenextendingtechnicalassistanceandcooperation toMPEDAfordevelopingandimplementingBetterManagementPractices(BMP)for shrimpaquaculture.VillagedemonstrationpogrammesonShrimpDiseaseControlin India was taken up jointly by NACA / MPEDA during the years 2002 to 2006 by organizing small scale farmers into selfhelp groups known as Aquaclubs for adoptionofBetterManagementPractices.Theprogrammecontributedsignificantly towards reduction in disease related losses and cost of production besides improvementofyieldandshrimpquality(freeofantibiotic,traceability).Further,the resultshaveencouragedmanysmallscalefarmersinseveralmaritimestatesofIndia tocomeforwardtowardsformationofmanyaquaclubsandadoptBMPsformutual benefit. MPEDA has institutionalized the Aquaclubs in to Aqua Societies, and has formed NaCSA,anoutreachorganizationofMPEDAtocatertothescientificextensionneeds, primarily based on Better Management Practices (BMPs), of the shrimp farmers in India. As of date over 700 farmer societies, comprising of 15,753 aqua farmers covering an area of over 16,126 ha is operational. NaCSA is primarily engaged in facilitatingfarmergrouporganizationandpromotionofBMPadoption.

1.3. NACA MPEDA/NaCSA Collaborative programme on certification of Aqua societies: ThelongtermobjectiveofNACAMPEDA/NaCSAcollaborativeprojectistoenable smallscalefarmerstoadoptsustainableandenvironmentfriendlyfarmingpractices toproducequalityandsafeshrimpsfordomesticmarketandexport.Inthisregard, NaCSA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NACA, seeking NACAs Technical expertise to assist Indian Small Scale Aqua farmers to adopt betterpracticesandaccessmarkets.TheMoUcoversimplementationofaProject on CLUSTER CERTIFICATION aimed at Group certification of Shrimp Aqua SocietybasedonInternationalguidelinesforAquaculturecertification. 2.Projectobjective: The project objective was to develop guidelines and methodology for group certification of aqua societies; and take up pilot testing in three identified aqua societies in order to develop a practical system for quality assurance and prepare the societies to seek group certification of their choice from the existing third partycertificationPrograms. 3.Purposeoffinalworkshop: Theobjectiveofthisfinalprojectworkshopwastoreviewandevaluate The progress made on the pilot testing of certification guidelines/methodology in three identified societies and to formulate the planoffollowupaction To review and finalize the following documents developed in the project forwiderdisseminationinIndiabyNaCSAandintheAsianregionbyNACA Guidelines/methodology on group certification of aqua societies (English&Teluguversion) Road map (containing compiled reference standards) for pilot testingofcertificationguidelines Pond Data Register (PDR) to comply with the road map and guidelines Clustercertificationbrochure TrainingmanualonGroupcertificationofaquasocieties To develop strategies and follow up plan of action on expansion of activitiesonaquasocietycertificationtoothersocieties&wayforward 4.Participants: Therewere60participantsattheworkshop.Stakeholderswhoattendedthework shop included; Leaders of the pilot tested aqua societies, selected leaders of

other Aqua Societies, representatives of Certifying bodies, processors cum exporters,representativesofshrimphatcheryoperators,ResearchersfromICAR institutions (CIBA, CIFA) and state Agricultural universities (College of Fisheries from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh), representatives from MPEDA, NaCSA,NACA,NFDB,CAA,statefisheriesdepartmentsandotherorganizations. ThelistoftheparticipantsisprovidedinAnnex1. 5.Process: 5.1.Openingceremony: The chairperson of MPEDA Ms.Leena Nair, IAS inaugurated the workshop; CommissionerofFisheriesGovernmentofAndhraPradeshDr.ManmohanSingh, IAS,gracedtheoccasion. Mr.N.R.Umesh,CEOofNaCSAwelcomedtheparticipantsandthankedbothMPEDA andNACAforthecollaborativeeffortsinallfrontsandincarryingoutthepilottesting ofthemethodologyofGroupcertificationinidentifiedsocieties. Dr.C.V.Mohan,R&DManagerofNACAextendedawarmwelcometoallandgavea detailedbackgroundontheMPEDA/NaCSANACAcollaborationleadingtothepilot testing of the methodology of group certification. He added that the Guideline document, road map, brochure, training manual have been revised based on the inferencesofthePilottestingandareproposedtobefinalizedduringtheworkshop. Sincetheguidelineandroadmapdocumentareindependentofcommoditiesandthe Certification programme, these could be used by any aqua society to prepare small scalefarmerstoaccessbettermarketsthroughtheconceptofgroup/cluster/society certification Dr.Manmohan Singh, Commissioner of Fisheries, Government of Andhra Pradesh in hisaddresshighlightedtheimportanceoffoodsafetyandhowcertificationprograms could provide the required quality assurance to consumers. He added that it is a matter of pride that activities on Aquaculture group Certification has been initiated and made considerable progress in the state of Andhra Pradesh compared to any othermaritimestates. The chairperson, MPEDA inaugurated the workshop by lighting the lamp. In her inaugural address, she mentioned that the formation of aqua societies is a social movement at the grass root level and the progress made so far leading to pilot testing of Group certification methodologies is a mile stone in development of responsibleandproactiveaquaculture.ShecongratulatedbothNaCSAandNACAfor theeffortsinfulfillingthesetobjectivesofcollaborativeprojectandaddedthatsheis

lookingforwardtotheoutcome/recommendationsoftheworkshoptochalkoutthe planoffollowupaction. Mr.M.Kalyanaraman,Coordinatoroftheclustercertificationproject,thankedMPEDA, NACAandNaCSAfortheopportunitygiventohimtoimplementtheprojectandthe farmers for the cooperation extended during pilot testing of the group certification guidelines.Thetechnicalsessionswereheldaspertheagenda(Annex2). 5.2. Session 1: Guidelines on the Group Certification of Aqua societies (by Mr. Kalyanaraman) Withthemarketdrivenbytheconsumers,thereiseverypossibilitythatcertification maybecomemandatoryinthenearfuture;itisthereforetheendeavoroftheproject partnerstoempowerthesmallscaleaquafarmersandbuildtheircapacitysuchthat theyarenotmarginalizedtofacethemarketchallenge.Theguidelinedocumentwill enable the small scale farmers efficient understanding of the concept of group certification and help prepare them for participation in future third party Group certificationprograms. The document guidelines on group certification is the key output of the MPEDA / NaCSA NACA collaborative project on group certification of aqua societies. The presentation defined certification, the challenges faced by small scale farmers in certification (compliance and accessibility), the difficulty in individual certification (small land holdings thus prohibitively cost expensive) and the advantages of Group certificationforsmallscalefarmers. The Guideline document provides 18 key steps comprising of 2 parts towards attainmentofgroupcertification.Part1(steps1to7)dealswithgroupformation.Itis thebasicminimumrequirementtoseekforgroupcertificationemphasizingtheunity or grouping of the small scale farmers through the formation of Aqua Society and attaininglegalstatusthroughrequisiteapproval/registrationfromNationalagencies. The work carried out by MPEDA / NaCSA in forming the aqua societies thus setting theplatformtoworkontheGroupcertificationisacknowledged. Part 2 (steps 8 18) describes the actual process involved in Group certification {identification of certification programme, assessment of capacities, understanding thestandard,formation&functioningofInternalControlSystem(ICS)committee}.ICS istoensuremonitoringandcompliance(bothbyindividualfarmersandthesocietyas agroup)withthestandardssetbythecertificationprogramme.Internalinspection forms means of introspection in assessment of extent of compliance with the

standardandtheexternalaudit(bythecertifyingbody)istoevaluatetheefficiencyof functioning of ICS. Based on the external audit report, the Certification Programme issues Group certification with or without conditions. The guideline document was translated into local language and the Telugu version has been distributed to participatingfarmers. 5.2.1.Observationsandissuesbroughtupduringdiscussions: ThefarmerrepresentativesoftheAquasocietiesparticipatedintheworkshop expressed satisfaction on the information contained in Guidelines (that too in locallanguage)enablingcompleteunderstandingofthesubject. Various stakeholders participating in the workshop complimented that guidelinedocumentiswellsetindescribingthevariousstepsinvolvedinGroup certification and would be very useful tool not only to farmers but also for others to understand the concept and prepare small scale farmer groups for participationinfutureGroupcertificationprograms. The workshop agreed that the guideline document (both English and Telugu versions) is comprehensive and by consensus approved the document and suggestedthatitbeusedforcapacityandawarenessbuildingoffarmergroups byNaCSA,MPEDAandotherinterestedstakeholders. 5.3.Session:2PilottestingofGroupCertificationguidelines(byMr.Kalyanaraman) TheanalysisonthepilottestingonGroupcertificationguidelines/methodologybythe identifiedaquasocietieswasthekeypresentationandhandoutofthepresentation had been distributed to all the participants. It was categorically stated that the objective of the analysis was to evaluate the extent of compliance to reference standards, functioning of the ICS, identify the limitations and develop strategies to overcome the limitations, thus preparing the aqua societies to participate in future groupcertificationprograms. The participants were briefed about the phases of MPEDA NACA collaboration leading to Pilot testing on Group certification (emphasizing the focus on marketing) andtheimportanceofGroupcertificationasatoolofcommunicationbetweensmall scale primary producers and the consumers. A list on the various components of Group certification to be complied with (legal, ICS functioning, adoption of BMPs, food safety, traceability, adequate documentation, social and environmental) was drawn and comparative evaluation on the extent of compliance by each (identified) aquasocietywasmade.

Thecomplianceonlegalaspects,foodsafetymeasuresandsocialissueswereinorder and acknowledged. ICS functioning was found to be ineffective during pilot testing, withinadequatedocumentationandparticularlylackofsupportingdocumentsonthe Traceability.WithregardtoadoptionofBMPs,theobservedanomalieswerebrought to the notice of the farmers on the following: 1) Multi candidate species in one society 2) Seed source (not from MPEDA recognized hatcheries) 3) Stocking density (notinrelationtoCAAlicense)4)Sporadicmeasurementofwaterqualityparameters onpondwaterandlackofmeasurementonwatersourceandthedischargewater5) Inadequatebiosecuritymeasures. On the environmental issues, it was observed that keeping in view of the average production and FCR (Food conversion ratio) recorded at each of the identified societies,theNitrogenandPhosphorousreleaseindischargewaterpertonofshrimp productionisbelowthelevelssuggested.Howeveritwasreiteratedtheneedforthe periodical measurement of the water quality parameters of the discharge water besidesdocumentingthesameinrequisiteformatsinPondDataRegister. Summarizing the presentation it was mentioned that the pilot testing has identified thefollowingneeds. 1) Motivationoffarmersbycreatingawareness 2) Adequate training on ICS & Group Certification for farmers and ICS teams in locallanguageatthefarm 3) Appointmentofsocietycoordinatorineachofthesocietiessoastoassistthe societies towards measurement of hydrographical parameters & to ensure maintenanceofrequisitedocumentation 4) Continuityinmonitoringandassistancetowardscompliancewiththereference standard in three identified societies besides exploring the possibility of coveringmoreaquasocietiesforgroupcertification. 5.3.1.Observationsandissuesbroughtupduringdiscussions: Therepresentativesoftheidentifiedaquasocietiesparticipatedinthemeeting recordedtheirconcurrenceonthepilottestinganalysisreport;reiteratedthat the group certification is certainly a leap in the forward direction towards better market accessibility and stated that they sincerely look forward to the cooperationofMPEDA/NaCSANACAallianceinextendingtheprojectandto fulfilltheirrequirementsasstatedinsummaryofthepresentation. Farmerspointedoutthedifficultyingettingthedeclarationfrombothhatchery and feed manufacturers on the seed / feed quality respectively mentioning issuessuchasfreeofbannedantibioticsandchemicals

Hatcheryoperatorsrepliedthatsuchdeclarationscouldbegivenbasedonthe requestbythefarmersstatingthepurpose. The hatchery operators brought to the notice of the participants that the qualitativeandquantitativedeclineonthewildcaughtP.monodonbroodstock and the corresponding influence on the seed quality. SPF broodstock is the means to improve the quality of PL, and requested the National agencies to look in to this and to make available the SPF of P.monodon broodstock to hatcheryoperators. It was informed that efforts are on towards the development of SPF brood stock at Andaman (by R & D wing of MPEDA) and would be made available probablyincoupleofyears. The printing on the feed bag by few feed manufacturers that feed is free of antibiotics and banned chemicals were brought to the discussion enquiring whetherthiscouldbetreatedasadeclaration.Itwasreiteratedthatthisisnot adequateanddocumentaryevidenceisessentialtofulfilltherequirementsof CertificationProgramme. The participants comprising of various categories have acknowledged the immense efforts that has gone in to the Pilot testing and strongly recommended continuation of the project to assist small scale farmers to overcome the identified limitations in preparing them towards achieving the groupcertification. The stake holders reiterated that the major thrust to be given in capacity buildingbyprovidingrequisitetraininginICS&Groupcertificationinadequate dosages in local language at the farm; any break in the process would dilute theawarenessonGroupcertificationandthestartinghastobefromscratch. Manystakeholdersexpressedtheneedtolinktheprogrammewithprocessors to equip the farmers on market information on the candidate species, size, market price etc., enabling the farmers to be well prepared prior to commencementofcultureoperation. Reacting to this one of the processors who had participated in the workshop mentionedthattheyarewillingtoworkcloselywithaquasocietiesinbringing thesocalledmarketintelligencesubjecttocommitmentbyfarmers(onboth quality&quantity)towardsmutualbenefit. 5.4.Session:3Linkingsmallscalefarmerstomodernmarketssuccessstoryfrom Thailand(byDrCVMohan) The presentation unfolded the story on how small scale farmers of Thai Samroiyod shrimp farming Cooperative are participating in the modern market chains. The objectiveofthepresentationwastosetanexampleandtogenerateinterestamong

theIndiansmallscalefarmersaquasocieties,processorstoexplorethepossibilityof workingtogetherinthisregard.Thepresentationdealtthefollowingasbackground information; basic goals of farmer, requirements of the society, market consumer trendsandlinkedtocertificationandstatedthataquacultureischaracterizedbythe production intensification and continued diversification thus necessitating better governance. The presentation highlighted certification as a means of market access andtobuildbusinessrelationship. The presentation outlined on the various certification schemes (Governmental, private and producer originated) and stated that for the small scale farmer certificationisofcostlyaffair(feespluscomplianceoncertification).Thepresentation mentioned the challenges faced by small scale farmers and stressed the need for Groupcertificationtoreducethecost. The presentation mentioned the Characteristics of Thai Samroiyod shrimp farming Cooperativeasfollows: RegisteredwithMinistryofAgricultureandcooperative Conductmeetingregularly ConstitutedInternalControlSystem(ICS) CompliancetoThaiGAP+Importerrequirements AuditbyThaiGovernment LabelingbyMarks&Spencer ProductexportedandsoldinEuropeanUnion Thepresentationreiteratedimportanceofvaluechain;theneedtohavepartnership withprocessors/buyers/retailersasinThailand;TheSamroyitsocietyclusterselling totheThaiprocessor(Seafresh)whointurnsellstoEuropeanbuyer(Aquastar)and thentotheretailer(Marks&Spencer). The presentation suggested that for the small scale farmers the best means of addressingthemarketchallengesbeingtheadoptionofBMPs,formationofclusters andgroupcertificationofaquacultureclusterstoachievethefollowing: Economyofscale Reducecostandeffortsofcertification Enablingtheparticipationofsmallscalefarmersinmodernmarkets 5.4.1.Observationsandissuesbroughtupduringdiscussions: Participantsshowedkeeninteresttounderstandtheconceptoflinkingprimarysmall scale producers to the markets and requested the National agencies to look in to

similar models and explore the possibilities of linking Indian aqua societies to the globalmarketsinthisdirection. 5.5.Session:4FunctioningofICSduringpilottesting(byMr.Kalyanaraman) Acomparisonwasdrawn;ICSforGroupcertificationtothatofBraintohumanbeing. ICS wields influence on group certification; therefore understanding of ICS is pre requisitetowardsseekinggroupcertification.Thepresentationdealtonthefollowing issuesasbackgroundinformationtowardsunderstandingofICS. Thecertificationsystem(standard,conformityassessmentandaccredititation) Impact,principle,criteria,indicatorandstandard Individualcertification&Groupcertificationandtheimpactoncost,effortsand compliance. The presentation highlighted that the main function of ICS is to ensure the complianceofallmembersofthegroupwiththestandardsofthechosencertification programme. The presentation dealt elaborately on the formation of ICS committee and outlined the duties and functions of ICS Committee members in detail. The participants were informed that detailed account of the subject is given in the guidelinedocument. The presentation gave an account on the kind of information disseminated to members of the identified aqua societies on ICS through lectures, interactive dialogues, power point presentation, documents etc., enabling thorough understandingonthesubjectbythefarmers. A comparitative evaluation of ICS functioning in the three identified aqua societies wasmade;rightfromICScommitteeformation,numberofmeetingsheld,members participation in meetings, agenda of the meetings, formation of Internal auditors, internal auditing etc., which revealed several grey areas thus it was observed and recordedthattheICSfunctioningrequiresathoroughoverhaul. ExploringthereasonsontheinadequatefunctioningofICS,thepresentationpointed outthefollowing: Lack of motivation of farmers (economic / infrastructure development incentives) Limited time (69 months) for the farmers to understand the concept and implementthesame Engagement of aqua farmers in other professional activities {i) agriculture (paddy/pulses/tobaccocultivation)ii)business}

Pondholdingpatterninaquasociety Lackofsocietycoordinator The presentation recommended further training on ICS to farmers and suggested extension/continuanceoftheprojectforatleastanother2to3yearsfacilitatingthe smallfarmerstobringinpracticeofICSashabit. 5.5.1.Observationsandissuesbroughtupduringdiscussions: Thefarmerrepresentativeswhohadparticipatedintheworkshopcategorically requested for additional training exclusively on ICS (way to conduct the meetings,waystoefficientlyruntheactivitiesofICS)inlocallanguagesattheir farm. They added that the timing on pilot testing was probably very shorter period for them to understand and subsequently implement ICS; besides, the lack of society coordinator was certainly a limiting factor particularly towards documentation, measurement of hydrographical parameters, recording the minutesofthemeetingetc., ThefarmerswhileconfirmingtheirwillingnesstocooperateontheCertification programme,requestedMPEDANaCSAtoaddresstheirlimitations. ImpartingoftrainingtothesmallscalefarmersonICSandGroupcertification wasemphasizedbyallthestakeholders.FacultyfromtheFisheriescollegesof Muthukur (Andhra), Tuticorin, CIBA and representatives of certifying bodies have offered their assistance towards capacity building of the farmers in this regard. 5.6.Session:5Facilitatedopendiscussions Open discussion was facilitated by NACA and NaCSA. Views and opinions were solicited from all the stakeholders. The following key observations and issues were broughtupduringtheopenfacilitateddiscussions. There was lengthy discussion on the motivation of farmers to subscribe / participateongroupcertification.Fewparticipantsreiteratedthatincentiveis the key for motivation recalling the arrangement made for the Indian organic Aquaculture Project (IOAP) wherein the farmers were given 20% of the premiumontheprevailingmarketprice. Hatchery operators strongly voiced the need for the support price for farm raised shrimp by the National Authorities and they were appraised on the difficultytoexploresuchthingunderthepresentcircumstances.

Farmers of Gullalamoda mentioned that incentive could be like assistance towardselectrificationworks,layingtheapproachroadetc., It is stated that the presence of several certifications programme each with unique standard, frequent changes and requirements makes the certification process difficult to comprehend and setting up of National standards was suggested. RepresentativeofCoastalAquaculture Authority (CAA)mentionedthatCAA is workingonthestandardsettingofaquacultureinputstowardstraceability. Initiating the discussion on involving all the stake holders particularly the producers and the processors it was felt that the Indian market is yet to be ready to absorb the concept of certification that needs awareness & training programme. It was pointed out that the organization of aqua societies by the small scale farmershasgiventhemavoiceandmakingtheirpresencefeltintheindustry.It wassuggestedthatthefarmersneedtobetoldaswhattoproduceandhowto sell keeping in view of the market demand. The need for elaborate extension workisingearingupfarmerstofacethechallengesinthecompetitivemarkets isemphasizedandgroupcertificationisonesuchinitiative.Theneedtobringin marketawarenessthesocalledmarketintelligencewasvoicedloudandclear. The workshop recognized that in addition to MPEDA NaCSA NACA, other stakeholders should be actively involved in promoting the concept of BMP adoption through cluster management approach and in preparing small scale farmer groups to participate in future group certification schemes. This will ensurewiderownershipoftheprogram. On the possibility of Certification programmes adopting few societies and workingthem,theparticipantswereappraisedthatitwillbeseenasconflictof interest.Howeverassistancecouldbeprovidedintheformoftraining,onpre assessmentofcompliance,reviewoftrainingmanual,translationetc., 6.Workshoprecommendations: Consideringtheglobaldevelopmentswithcertificationprogramsandtheneed to comply with mandatory and voluntary standards, the workshop strongly recommended that MPEDA/NaCSA and NACA should continue the present workongroup/clustercertificationandprovidetechnicalsupporttosmallscale farmerclusters/societiesinordertobuildtheircapacityandpreparethemfor participationingroupcertificationprogramsinfuture. Considering the importance of ICS in any group certification program, the workshop recommended that the project partners develop a strong training

programonICSandimplementthetraininginastructuredmannersothatthe capacityofICScommitteesissignificantlystrengthened Recognizing the importance of BMP adoption through cluster management approach and the efficient functioning of ICS to comply with standards (mandatory and voluntary), the workshop recommended that the project partnersimplementasystematiccomplianceanalysisprograminplacesothat selectedclusterscanbemonitoredandevaluatedforcompliancetostandards andcompliancetoICSfunctioning. Considering the globalization of trade coupled with consumers awareness on theproductquality(foodsafety,traceability),needforresponsibleaquaculture (adoptionofBMPs,reducingsocialandenvironmentalimpacts)andstrategyon linkingproducersandprocesserstowardsefficientmarketingofproduce(win win business relationship) the workshop strongly recommended that small scale farmers must be linked to modern markets so as to remain competitive andsustainable Recognizing the value of supply chain integration, role of processors, niche markets, ecosystem marketing concepts, etc, the workshop strongly recommended that NACA develop a long term project on linking small scale farmers to modern markets through group certification for funding considerationbyMPEDA/NaCSA Considering the need to motivate small scale farmers to prepare for group certification, the workshop suggested that as a promotional gesture in the initial stages, Government may consider incentives in the form of equipment, capital,andinfrastructureforgroupswillingtoparticipateintheproject. Recognizing the value of documents (e.g. group certification guidelines, road map for group certification, brochure, training manual on group certification, etc) produced under the project, the workshop recommended that the documents be made available widely within India and in the region. The workshopstronglyendorsedtheideathatNaCSAshouldusethedocumentsin theirongoingprogramstobuildcapacityofclusters/societiesonICSfunctioning andgroupcertification The workshop strongly recognized the need for other key stakeholders (e.g. ICAR institutions, Fisheries Colleges, CAA) to be more closely involved with MPEDA/NaCSA/NACA in promoting the concept of BMP adoption through group/clustermanagementapproachandgroupcertificationprogramssoasto benefitthesmallscalefarmersofIndia

Relatedsuggestions/recommendations TheworkshoprequestedtheinterventionofNationalAgenciestofocusonthe quality of inputs (seed in particular) as a pre requisite of successful and sustainable aquaculture thrust to be given to ensure the availability of SPF P.monodonPLinabundanceespeciallyduringthemonthsofFebruaryMayat affordable price to small scale farmers. The supply of SPF P.monodon brood stocktohatcheriestowardsproductionofPLalsoneedstobeexplored. WiththenumberofCertificationprogramme;eachwithitsownstandardthat too keep changing constantly is a matter of concern for the small scale aqua farmers;inthelongrun,possibilitiesofsettingup/formulationofaNational standardmaybeexploredwithreflectionoflocalcharacteristics. Theworkshoprequestedthefeedmanufacturersandthehatcheryoperatorsto issue certificate regarding the feed / quality respectively mentioning that it is freeofbannedantibioticsandchemicalsassuchdocumentofdeclarationisthe proof of evidence on food safety and traceability during internal / external audits. Inadditiontopreparingsmallscalefarmergroupsforfuturegroupcertification programs,theworkshopsuggestedthatfarmergroupsshouldalsobeprepared for disaster management planning to face the vagaries of Nature (floods, cyclone,draught,climate/weatherchanges) 7.Wayforward: Keeping in view of lessons learnt from the pilot testing of group certification guidelinesandtherecommendationsoftheworkshop,aconceptprojectproposalon linkingsmallscaleproducerstoprocessorsandmodernmarketsisbeingpreparedfor submissiontoMPEDAforfundingconsideration. 8.ClosingSession: Dr. C V Mohan proposed vote of thanks for all participated stakeholders for the enthusiasmshownandforthecontributionmadeinmakingtheworkshopsuccess.He sincerelyhopedthecontinuanceofprojectwiththeassistanceandcooperationfrom projectpartners.