India’s total fisheries production could reach 16 MMT by 2019: ASSOCHAM study

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New Delhi: Urging the government to double the outlay of Rs 3,000 crore for development and management of fisheries sector, apex industry body ASSOCHAM today said that India could achieve about 16 million metric tonnes (MMT) of inland and marine fisheries’ production by 2019-20 thereby adopting a target oriented approach to achieve eight per cent growth year-on-year.

“Aided by government’s efforts to bring systemic changes in 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 next 4-5 years,” noted a just-concluded ASSOCHAM study titled ‘Fisheries in India: Potential & prospects; Reference state – West Bengal.’

“Thus coupled with exports, fisheries sector in India should aim at a target of Rs two lakh crore by 2020 in value terms,” added the study conducted by Agri & Food Processing Division of The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) released at a press conference held here.

“Both direct and indirect employment in entire fisheries sector in India is likely to reach 15.25 million from an estimated 14 million in 2014-15,” said Mr D.S. Rawat, national secretary general of ASSOCHAM.

“However, most of the incremental fish production will have to come from aquaculture and ‘Blue Revolution’ will provide necessary impetus in this direction,” said Mr Rawat.

“Achievement of ambitious targets in increasing fish production is possible only through harnessing potential in aquaculture,” he added.

The study further noted that since India is endowed with over 8,000 kilometres (kms) long coastline, exclusive economic zone of over two million square kms 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 during 2015-2020 and reach a total of about 183 MT (million tonnes), while with value added/downstream products the trade in this sector could cross $200 billion by 2025, this despite the sluggish growth in exports, highlighted the ASSOCHAM study.

“Marine/capture fisheries is set to hover around 93 MT and aquaculture production (89 MT) could overtake by 2021-22,” it said.

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