A new US$2.7bn scheme looks to drive up fisheries in India

Constituting about 7.73 per cent of global fish production, India today has attained the status of the second largest aquaculture and the 4th largest fish exporting nation in the world

June 29, 2020

The PMMSY will be implemented as an umbrella scheme with two separate Components namely (a) Central Sector Scheme (CS) and (b) Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS)

The GVA of the fisheries sector in the economy during FY 2018-19 stood at Rs.2.1 trillion which constituted 1.24% of the total National GVA and 7.28% share of Agricultural GVA

The scheme comes as part of the Indian Government’s efforts to drive self-reliance in different sectors of the economy, following a Rs.21-trillion COVID-19 stimulus package

The PMMSY scheme aims to enhance India’s fish production from 13.8 million tonnes in 2018-19 to 22 million tonnes by 2024-25 at an average annual growth of about 9%

A new US$2.7bn scheme looks to drive up fisheries in India

The Government of India has approved a scheme to boost the potential of the country’s fisheries sector, a move that is expected to create strong economic value apart from driving new job creation, technology, and infrastructure development. The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) scheme aims to bring about a “Blue Revolution” through sustainable development of the fisheries sector in India. The scheme has been allocated the highest ever investment of over Rs.200 billion (US$2.7 billion) for the fisheries sector. PMMSY will be implemented over a period of five years from FY 2020-21 to 2024-25 in all States and Union Territories. The scheme comes as part of the Indian Government’s efforts to drive self-reliance in the economy. The Central Government had also recently introduced an Rs.21-trillion stimulus package to aid socio-economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fisheries and aquaculture provide livelihoods to more than 20 million at the primary level and twice the number along the value chain. Meanwhile, fish being an affordable and rich source of animal protein is one of the healthiest options to mitigate hunger and malnutrition. The GVA of the fisheries sector in the national economy during FY 2018-19 stood at Rs.2.1 trillion which constituted 1.24 per cent of the total National GVA and 7.28 per cent share of Agricultural GVA. India’s fisheries sector has shown impressive growth with an average annual growth rate of 10.88 per cent from FY 2014-15 to FY 2018-19. The fish production in India has registered an average annual growth of 7.53 per cent during the last five years and stood at an all-time high of 13.8 million tonnes during 2018-19. The export of marine products stood at 1.4 million tonnes and valued at Rs.465.9 billion during 2018-19.

The objectives of PMMSY:

  1. Harnessing the fisheries potential in a sustainable, responsible, inclusive and equitable manner
  2. Enhancing productivity through intensification, diversification and right utilization of land, water
  3. Modernizing, strengthening of the value chain – post-harvest management, quality improvement
  4. Doubling fishermen and fish farmers incomes; Generation of employment, new opportunities
  5. Enhancing contribution to India’s total agricultural GVA and exports, expansion of export variety
  6. Social and economic security for fishermen and fish farmers; A robust regulatory framework

The PMMSY scheme aims to enhance India’s annual fish production from 13.8 million tonnes in 2018-19 to 22 million tonnes by 2024-25 at a sustained average annual growth of about 9 per cent.

The sector has immense potential to double the fishers and fish farmers’ incomes as envisioned by the Government and usher in prosperity for a range of associated industries. The scheme intends to address gaps in fish output and productivity, quality, technology, post-harvest infrastructure and management, modernization and strengthening of the value chain, and traceability. It seeks to establish a robust fisheries management framework to ensure fishermen’s welfare. PMMSY would also address issues related to low productivity in inland aquaculture, disease, sustainability of marine fisheries, sanitary, and phytosanitary matters that impact the competitiveness of India’s exports along with global benchmarking. PMMSY will impact fishermen, fish farmers, workers and traders, fisheries cooperatives, self-help groups, and individual entrepreneurs. It will also boost export and investment opportunities. 

Activities under PMMSY:

  • Funding to benefit enhancement of production and productivity, infrastructure and post-harvest management, and fisheries management and regulatory framework.
  • PMMSY to be implemented with the participation of States/UTs. An implementation framework will be set up at State and District levels Units in high-potential locations. 
  • New, emerging technologies like Re-circulatory Aquaculture Systems, Biofloc, Aquaponics, Cage Cultivation, etc. to enhance productivity, quality, utilization of wastelands, water.
  • Focus on coldwater fisheries and the expansion of aquaculture in brackish water, saline areas. Promotion of mariculture, seaweed cultivation, and ornamental fisheries.
  • Focused attention would be given for fisheries development in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Islands, Northeast, and Aspirational Districts through area-specific development plans.
  • PMMSY envisages the promotion of high-value species, a national network of Brood Banks for all commercially important species, genetic improvement, and nucleus breeding centers.
  • Collectivization of fishers and fish farmers through Fish Farmer Producer Organizations (FFPOs) to increase the bargaining power and market outreach of fishers and fish farmers.
  • Aquaparks as a hub of aquaculture activities, post-harvest facilities, business enterprise zones, logistic support, business incubation centers, marketing facilities to be set up.
  • Insurance coverage for fishing vessels has been introduced. Annual Livelihood support for fishers during the ban and/or lean period would be provided.
  • Major investments in construction and modernization of fishing harbors and landing centers, state of the art wholesale fish markets, retail markets, e-marketing and e-trading of Fish, etc.
  • Support will be provided for the safety of fishers at sea, acquisition of technologically advanced fishing vessels for deep-sea fishing to improve India’s export competitiveness.
  • Private sector participation, development of entrepreneurship, business models, technology, startups, incubators, etc. to be taken up under the scheme in the fisheries sector.

The PMMSY scheme aims to enhance India’s annual fish production from 13.8 million tonnes in 2018-19 to 22 million tonnes by 2024-25 at a sustained average annual growth of about 9 per cent. Meanwhile, the scheme is looking to increase the contribution of GVA of the fisheries sector to the Agriculture GVA from 7.28 per cent in 2018-19 to about 9 per cent by 2024-25. This is also expected to double export earnings from Rs.465.9 billion in 2018-19 to about Rs.1 trillion by 2024-25. The scheme looks to enhance productivity in aquaculture from the present national average of 3 tonnes to about 5 tonnes per hectare while reducing post-harvest losses from the reported 20-25 per cent to about 10 per cent. Domestic fish consumption is also expected to rise from 5-6 kg to about 12 kg per capita. The rise in activities will create around 5.5 million direct and indirect job opportunities along the supply and value chain.