A necessity for the fisheries industry to have an integrated structure similar to the dairy industry.
When organizing fish farmers, especially impoverished ones, it is critical to have an integrated chain of operations, said NN Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, at the inaugural conference on fish tech organized by the industry association, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
Sinha pointed to the necessity for an integrated structure similar to that of the dairy industry. ‘There is a lot of room to establish such a value chain,’ he says.
Growing seaweed, ornamental fishing, and cage culture were also mentioned as feasible livelihood pursuits by the secretary. ‘We believe aquaculture is a vital source of income for a huge number of people, and we will collaborate with everyone in the industry,’ Sinha added.
Special finances are required
‘We need a specific fund for the fisheries industry that may support early-stage start-ups aiming to establish unique models and features,’ said Hemendra Mathur, Chairman of the FICCI-Taskforce on Agri-Startups.
He stated that fishing is a vital industry, with over 1.5 crore fishermen employed and a GDP contribution of more than $30 billion.
Mathur emphasized the importance of developing an innovative environment in fish tech along the lines of agriculture, despite the fact that there is a significant opportunity for expansion.
He also emphasized the need of developing an integrated supply chain and incorporating technology to improve efficiency.
Mathur added, ‘Given the sector’s potential, we should have at least 500 fish tech start-ups in the country. All start-ups together account for less than 2-3% of market potential. In the magnitude of the opportunities before us, that is a modest number. When compared to agritech, I believe fish tech has a long way to go.’
More technology is needed
PWC’s Shashi Kant Singh, Executive Director, Agri & Natural Resources, also mentioned the possibility of boosting the usage of technology and the headroom available to improve fishing industry output, exports, and domestic consumption.
He went on to say that the government has implemented a lot of ‘policy support,’ ‘ecological support,’ and ‘well-designed initiatives’ in the previous four to five years.
However, Singh stated that ‘we do see a lot of possibility in enhancing the quality of the produce. If India’s blue economy story is to succeed, fishing will be one of the crucial areas, among others.’
According to Devleena Bhattacharjee, Chair of the FICCI Committee on Fishtech and Founder & CEO of Numer8 Analytics, ‘India is the second biggest fish producing country, accounting for around 7.56 percent of worldwide fish output.’ She stated that it is a rising industry because of the immense potential for local consumption and expansion, excellent export potential, and higher economic returns with strong policy backing.
A new report was issued
A FICCI PwC study titled ‘Championing the Blue Economy: Promoting Sustainable Growth of India’s Fisheries Sector’ was issued during the conference. The research highlights India’s fisheries sector’s potential, trends, opportunities, problems, and strategic interventions required to promote India’s blue economy and develop a sustainable and lucrative future for the business.