Tuna processing. (Photo: KL Constantine/FIS)
Fish production to jump by 4 million tonnes by 2016
Wednesday, October 03, 2012, 03:30 (GMT + 9)
India's fish output may hit 13 million tonnes by 2016, up from the current 9 million, according to a study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM).
At the same time, ASSOCHAM recommended that the government improve infrastructure and offer incentives to go deeper.
According to the study, A prize catch in Indian export basket released this week, India’s fish production can reproduce at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of about 7 per cent in the next four to five years if the government moves strategically. The current CAGR is 3.5 per cent.
ASSOCHAM National Secretary General DS Rawat said appropriate measures would help the sector create more jobs and reach its foreign exchange earning potential. Exports make up only 8 per cent of the total fish production in India, IANS reports.
"While the total global fish trade is estimated at USD 138 billion, India's exports are a meagre USD 3 billion," he said.
However, the study projected that exports would jump to USD 4.7 billion by 2014, The Hindu reports.
India ranks second in fish production behind China, and India's share in fisheries production is about 5 per cent and marine/inland fishery exports account for 2 per cent of global trade.
The study stressed that bottlenecks in distribution and low annual average production combined with inadequate infrastructure are thwarting growth.
ASSOCHAM suggested creating a separate ministry to remove these bottlenecks and establishing a centralised coordinating agency to guide stakeholders and provide training.
"Absence of organised retail in fish trade and age-old system of distribution is resulting in high wastage and spoilage," said Rawat.
About 67 per cent of the total fish produced in India is consumed fresh due to low demand for value-added products; about 6 per cent is converted into fishmeal. Besides, processed and dried fish accounts for 16 per cent, 7-10 per cent is traded as frozen products and less than 1 per cent is canned.
The domestic demand for all types of fish is about 7.5 million tonnes and likely to cross 10 million tonnes by 2016.
West Bengal accounts for 20 per cent of the fish production followed by Andhra Pradesh at 16 per cent, ranking second in terms of growth.
Karnataka has the highest growth rate of fish production with about 11.48 per cent CAGR.
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