India holds significant potential for fisheries and aquaculture and with a planned sustainable development of the value chain initiatives, the growing production could not only help feed the growing human population, thereby meeting the nutritional requirements, but also contribute significantly to the growth of the Indian economy.With contribution of ~6 per cent to global fish production, India finds a prominent place as one of the largest fish producers not only influencing world fisheries supply but also demand trends. The sector has shown good growth of 10.88% between 2014-15 to 2018-19, contributing 1.24% to the total National Gross Value Added (GVA) during 2018-19 which stood at INR2.12 lac crores (current basic prices). The fish production during the past five years registered an annual growth rate of 7.53% with an all time high of 137.58 lakh metric tons (MT) during 2018-19. The Government of India (GOI) has set an ambition to raise the fish production to 220.00 lakh MT by 2022-23, which could be achieved by introducing planned systemic and balanced interventions to harness marine and inland fisheries potential.
The India domestic fish market is estimated to be INR1,110 billion (2018) and is forecasted to touch INR 1,998 Billion by 2024, growing at 10.2% CAGR during 2019-2024. Also, the exports of fishery products serve as an important source of foreign exchange to India’s exchequer through substantial exports spread across the world. The value of exports of marine products stood at INR 465.90 billion (2018) positioning India as the fourth biggest seafood exporter in the world contributing to 4.1% global trade and is forecasted to touch INR 1,000 Billion by 2024 targeting ~6.5% global trade.
Foreseeing the immense unleashed potential that India holds in the sector, the central government has therefore envisioned a “Blue Revolution” construct for integrated development & management of fisheries (inland & marine) and aquaculture with a multi-dimensional architecture. The restructured plan scheme “Blue Revolution: with a vision towards Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries” implemented during past five years (2015-16 to 2019-20) with a total central outlay of INR3000 crores has been rechristened into Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) with a revised outlay of Rs. 20,050 crores to be implemented during the next five years (2020-21 to 2024-25) to bring about “Blue Revolution” through sustainable & responsible development with the following quantifiable outcomes:
Fisheries policy 2020 with envisaged implementation through PMMSY seeks to impact the lives of 25.0 million fishers & fish farmers and nearly double the number along the value chain. PMMSY covers interventions across the value chain addressing the critical gaps in:
GOI through the PMMSY is set to establish a robust fisheries management & regulatory framework ensuring sustainable development of the sector. Also, the initiative covers the beneficiaries who could potentially benefit from it. The span of implementing agencies and the convergence frameworks of the schemes/initiatives being undertaken by various ministries / departments is anticipated to ensure smooth implementation thereby synergizing the fund flow in the fisheries eco-system for a sustainable development.
In order to achieve the desired intent and outcomes of the PMMSY, GOI could look at adopting the following approach to strategize & implement the initiative:
While PMMSY outlines the implementation elements, the key success factors would be to develop the above mentioned strategic blue-print with a detailed implementation plan & roadmap to enable track progress on the components, interventions, impact assessment and stakeholder participation. It would also help take mid-course corrections, if any, during the implementation period of next five years. GOI should also look at instilling a strong monitoring & evaluation cell to track & assess the outcomes of the allocated resources.
The initiative of PMMSY, if implemented in right earnest, should be able to bring about the envisaged “Blue revolution” contributing to 9% GVA by 2024-25. Simultaneously, it could position India as a strong competitive force in the global trade of marine products ‘increasing exports substantially’ and the income of fishers and fisheries farmers.