Shrimp traders and farmers in Thailand have pooled resources to pay Baht15 million (€236m) for chemical-residue testing equipment to ensure that exports will reach food safety standards.
The Elisa-brand equipment, to be purchased from the Netherlands, will be used to test shrimp products for the presence of chloranphenicol, an antibiotic banned in food imported by the European Union.
The EU prefers shrimp imports to be tested by Elisa devices, which are made in both the Netherlands and Germany.
The equipment will be installed at two fish markets along the southern coast of Thailand, under the supervision of officials from the Thailand Fisheries Department.
About 200 farmers and traders from two organisations are sharing the cost of the equipment.
Exports of Thai shrimp products in the first four months of this year totalled 29,760 tons worth Baht 9.86 billion, down by 29 per cent in volume and 41 per cent in value, partly because of the EU's tightened restrictions on chemical content.