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Fishery sector needs integrated structure for value chain like dairy industry: Official

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New Delhi, Jul 15 (PTI) Rural Development Secretary N N Sinha on Thursday stressed on the need to develop an integrated structure for creating value chain in fisheries sector like dairy industry.

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He was speaking at the first conference on Fishtech organised by the industry chamber FICCI.

The secretary said it was crucial to have an integrated chain of activities when organising fish farmers, especially those who are poor.

Sinha alluded to the "need to develop an integrated structure akin to the dairy sector," according to a statement issued by FICCI.

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"There is a lot of scope for developing such a value chain," he said and referred to growing seaweed, ornamental fishing and cage culture as viable livelihood activities.

"We think aquaculture is an important livelihood option for a large number of people... we will work with everyone in the sector," he added.

Hemendra Mathur, Chairman of FICCI - Taskforce on Agri-Startups, said there was a need for a dedicated fund for fishery startups, which can put in early-stage funding for startups trying to build interesting models and features”.

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"We should at least have 500 fishtech startups in the country, given the sector's potential," he noted.

Further, Mathur said that fishery is an important sector with more than 1.5 crore fishermen engaged in the activity and its contribution to GDP being more than USD 30 billion.

In the last five to seven years, Mathur said 1500-plus agri-tech startups have come up in the country but the share of fishtech startups is still tiny, probably 30 to 50.

Devleena Bhattacharjee, Chair of FICCI Committee on Fishtech and Founder & CEO, Numer8 Analytics, said India is the second largest fish producing country in the world and contributes to about 7.56 per cent of the global fish production. PTI MJH RAM

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