RSTV: IN DEPTH- BLUE REVOLUTION
Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Friday inaugurated the fifth edition of the Aqua Aquaria India in Hyderabad. It’s an event that’s held every year. This time, the theme was ‘Taking Blue Revolution to India’s Hinterland’. The Blue Revolution is part of the Government’s efforts to promote fishing as an allied activity for farmers in order to double their incomes. The Blue Revolution in fact refers to an explosive growth in the aquaculture industry and much like the Green Revolution. It is a huge focus area for the NDA government. As part of its efforts to raise seafood output and exports and promote sustainable aquaculture, the Government has even constituted an independent Ministry for Fisheries. The Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman this year also mentions the Blue Revolution.
- The rapid increase in the production of fish and marine product through a package program is known as the blue revolution.
- It was launched in India during the seventh five-year plan that went from 1985 to 1990.
- It has brought improvement in aquaculture by adopting new techniques of fish breeding, fish rearing, fish marketing and fish export.
- Fishing is the primary source of livelihood for several communities in the India.
- India is the world’s second largest fish producer with exports worth more than 47,000 crore rupees.
- Fisheries are in fact India’s single largest agriculture export with a growth rate of 6 to 10 percent in the last five years in comparison the growth rate of the farm sector in the same period is around 2.5 percent.
Objectives of Blue Revolution:
- Fully tapping the total fish potential of the country both in the inland and the marine sector and triple production by 2020.
- Transforming the fisheries sector as a modern industry with focus on new technologies and processes.
- Doubling the income of fishers and fish farmers with special focus on increasing productivity and better post harvest marketing infrastructure including ecommerce and other technologies and global best innovations.
- Ensuring inclusive participation of fishers and fish farmers in the income enhancement.
- Tripling export earnings by 2020 with focus on benefits flow to fishers and fish farmers and enhancing food and nutritional security of the country.
- India has large natural resources, and water bodies such as ponds & tanks, wetlands, brackish water, cold water, lakes & reservoirs, rivers and canals.
- In addition to it India has 8,118km-long coastline. So it is well positioned to have a Blue Revolution.
- Largest species of fish are found in India, and there is also a tremendous scope for breeding of colourful ornamental fish.
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana:
- The scheme is aimed to turn India into a hotspot for fish and aquatic products through appropriate policy marketing and infrastructure support.
- The government intends to bring all fishermen under the ambit of farmer welfare programs and social security schemes.
- The new scheme has been introduced under the newly established department of fisheries announced by the government in its interim budget this year.
- The government has allocated 804.75 crore rupees for the fisheries sector in the current fiscal.
- Its aim is to augment fish production to achieve its target of 15 million tonnes by 2020 under the blue revolution and raise it thereafter to about 20 million tonnes by 2020 to 2023.
Fisheries and Aquaculture:
- Fisheries and aquaculture production contribute around 1% to India’s GDP and over 5% to the agricultural GDP.
- India has a marine Fisher population of 3.5 million with over 10.5 million people engaged in inland fishery and fish farming.
- At 4.7 million tonnes per annum, India is the world’s second largest fish producer with exports worth more than 47,000 crore rupees
- In aquaculture production, India is only behind China which has an annual production of 60 million tones.
- Fisheries are the country’s single largest agriculture export with a growth rate of 6 to 10 percent in the last five years.
- It’s significance is underscored by the fact that the growth rate of the farm sector in the same period is around 2.5 percent.
India’s blue revolution:
- India’s first blue revolution was launched during the seventh five-year plan from 1985 to 1990 during which the government sponsored the fish farmers development agency.
- The FFDA brought improvement in aquaculture by adopting new techniques of fish breeding, rearing, marketing and export.
- During the eight five-year plan from 1992 to 1997, the intensive Marine Fisheries programme was launched in which collaboration with multinational companies was encouraged over a period of time.
- Fishing harbors in Vishakhapatnam, Kochi and Port Blair were established.
- A number of research centers have also been set up to increase the production and improvement in species.
- The initiative once again picked up pace after the Modi government took over in 2014 to transform the sector with increased investment better training and infrastructure.
India’s Robust Fisheries Sector:
- India recorded an average annual growth of 14.8 percent in production of fish and fish products in the last decade as compared to the global average of 7.5% in the same period.
- The 232 billion dollar fish and fish related products global industry is expanding at a rate of 6 percent annually and India has huge potential to meet this ever-increasing demand.
- India exported fish worth 45,000 crore rupees in 2017-18 and has the potential to scale of this figure to 4 lakh 50 thousand crore rupees .
Success Stories in Various States:
- Gujarat shifted from an insistence on cooperatives as lessees of ponds and tanks to a public auction and changed the tenure of lease from a single year to several years.
- This created a huge incentive to the entrepreneurs.
- This increased the production manifold.
- Private entrepreneurs strengthened the ponds, replenished water when it started drying up, and spent money for protection against poachers.
- Cage fisheries in large reservoirs seem to be yielding good results in Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.
- Cage aquaculture involves the growing of fishes in existing water resources while being enclosed in a net cage which allows free flow of water.
- Asian countries contribute over 90% to aquaculture worldwide.
- China itself contributes more than 70%.
- Currently the USA is the largest market for Indian seafood products with a share of 26.46 percent in terms of India’s exports of marine products.
- It is followed by Southeast Asian countries, 25.71 percent and European Union nations, 20.08 percent.
- Concern over stagnation of production of marine fisheries.
- Resource quality issues
- It pertains to the length of time for which adequate water would be standing in a waterbody.
- Alternate demands on the same waterbody
- Water quality problems resulting from these alternate demands.
- Socio-economic issues around the resources
- Limited rights over the waterbodies
- Security and length of tenancy when these are leased
- Poaching of fish
- Techno-managerial issues
- Availability of spawn, seedlings and fingerlings on time
- Availability of necessary feed and medicines
- Access to markets and working capital.
- There is a major issue with ponds and tanks in most parts of the mainland in India —these are typically multiple-use waterbodies.
- These multiple-use waterbodies, therefore, are unreliable for fish production unless managed well.
- Absence of formal working capital arrangements for funding smooth and efficient fisheries.
- Challenges such as environmental threats, disease risks and trade barriers.
- Deep sea fishing would require large investments and we have to explore possibilities of publicprivate par
- The must design intelligent lease agreements and enable working capital supply.
- Marine capture fisheries should be exploited more in the country.
- These resources could be used for ensuring food security and poverty alleviation.
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