The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) stated that India’s inland and marine fisheries production could touch the 16-million metric ton- (MMT) mark by 2019-20, thereby adopting a target-oriented approach to achieve eight per cent growth year-on-year.
The apex industry body urged the government of India to double the current outlay - which amounts to approximately Rs 3,000 crore - for the development and management of the fisheries sector.
“Aided by the government’s efforts to bring systemic changes in the processing sector, the domestic segment in raw and processed fisheries sector in value terms is expected to touch Rs 1.5 lakh crore by 2020 and total domestic retail market is forecast to cross Rs 61 lakh crore or almost triple in the next four or five years,” stated a just-concluded study, which was titled Fisheries in India: Potential & prospects; Reference state – West Bengal and conducted by the agri and food processing division of ASSOCHAM.
“Thus, coupled with exports, the fisheries sector in India should aim at a target of Rs two lakh crore by 2020 in value terms,” it added.
“Both direct and indirect employment in the entire fisheries sector in India is likely to reach 15.25 million from an estimated 14 million in 2014-15,” said D S Rawat, national secretary general, ASSOCHAM.
“However, most of the incremental fish production will have to come from aquaculture, and the Blue Revolution will provide the necessary impetus in this direction,” he added.
“The achievement of ambitious targets in increasing the fish production is possible only through harnessing the potential in aquaculture,” Rawat stated.
The study further noted that since India is endowed with a coastline that is over 8,000km long and an exclusive economic zone of over two million sq km of continental shelf, there is scope to increase marine catch, which has turned sluggish lately.
“Global fish production is likely to grow by about 1.5 per cent between 2015 and 2020 and reach a total of about 183 million tonnes, while with value-added/downstream products, the trade in this sector could cross $200 billion by 2025, despite the sluggish growth in exports,” highlighted the ASSOCHAM study.