India: The country’s total seafood production reached 10.8 million tonnes in the period 2015-2016 with an estimated value of INR 1 trillion (USD 14,578 million), according to minister of agriculture and farmers welfare Radha Mohan Singh.
The minister made this announcement at the World Fisheries Day ceremony held by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries under the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
During the ceremony, he also informed that aquaculture production amounted to 4.21 million tonnes, turning India into the second-largest producer of fish from inland sources and contributing about 6.3 per cent to global aquaculture.
Official data also revealed that seafood exports from India grew at an average annual rate of 14.8 per cent against the global average of seafood production growth of 7.5 per cent. These figures have turned India into the top exporter of fisheries products.
The minister pointed out that the government's Blue Revolution scheme aims at increasing seafood production in the country at an annual rate of 8 per cent to reach 15 million tonnes by 2020.
In reference to fish farming, Singh explained that it will have three benefits: increase the farmers income, progress in the country's export and GDP and ensure nutritional and food security in the country.
According to the minister, India is the world's second seafood producer, behind China, and this sector is the one generating the most jobs in the country: about 15 million people work in this activity.
Furthermore, Singh stressed that India ranks first worldwide in shrimp capture and that it is the main exporter of the crustacean.
Around 26,869 hectares have been developed for aquaculture during the past two years, which has benefited 63,372 fishermen.