The product profile of fish in urban hyper markets is fast getting revolutionised. Companies are storming the market with plant based fish alternatives. They are rightly positioning themselves as leaders striving to comply with SDG 14 of the UN satiating the consciousness of the urban ecology-conscious Indian. We also have companies that manage 60,000 plus fish and shrimp farmers digitally.
The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Yojana (PMMSY), aims to increase fish production to 220 lakh tonne, average annual growth rate of fish production to 9 per cent, fisheries exports to INR 100,000 crore, reduce post harvest losses to 10 per cent and increase employment in the sector to 55 lakh by 2024-25.
It also aims to expand the horizons of specific sub sectors, like seaweed culture and product development, ornamental fish culture and exports, exponentially increasing seafood exports. Infrastructure development in fisheries is also getting a big fillip. Massive budget outlays are enabling structural growth at the ground level. The extension of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to fisheries sector is a master stroke.
However, there is not much of a technology push that has been built into PMMSY. Private investment in IT-driven fisheries is happening independent of the official big push.
The fisheries sector has already opened up fully to Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). Aquaculture, cage culture technology and re-circulatory and bio-floc systems are most ideal investment avenues for FDI. Core areas of fisheries flagged for PPP mode of development, like harbour, cold storages, landing centres development, could take the FDI route.
Involvement of chambers of commerce is very important to push private investments in the sector. The poultry and meat giants who are keen to enter this sector are constrained by logistics and technology issues such as volumes, timeliness and regularity of delivery to drive the market. Rural electrification is a big concern.