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New Study : India’s Seafood Consumption Projected to Double by 2048

A new study paints a promising picture for India’s seafood industry, predicting a significant rise in fish consumption within the next two and a half decades.

The “Fish Consumption in India: Patterns and Trends” Study

This research, conducted jointly by ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) and WorldFish, along with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and various Indian government bodies, sheds light on the evolving dietary habits of the nation. The study examined fish consumption trends in India from 2005 to 2021. Find the original study here: [invalid URL removed]

Key Findings:

  • Consumption on the Rise: The study reveals that a substantial 72.1% of the Indian population, translating to roughly 966.9 million people, now incorporate fish into their diets. This significant growth is attributed to a combination of factors, including population increase, rising disposable incomes, and a shift in dietary preferences.
  • Geographic Variations: Fish consumption varies considerably across different regions. Tripura, a northeastern state, boasts the highest consumption rate at 99.35%, while states like Punjab (26.45%), Haryana (20.55%), and Rajasthan (22.5%) show the lowest consumption levels. These variations likely reflect cultural preferences, fish availability, and dietary traditions.

Benefits and Recommendations:

The study emphasizes the importance of integrating fish consumption into public health and nutritional strategies, particularly considering the valuable contribution fish offers in terms of dietary needs. Dr. Arun Padiyar, WorldFish Country Lead for India, underlines the need for “holistic and adaptable policies” to strengthen fish value chains, ensuring the sustainability of aquatic food systems and promoting better nutritional outcomes for the population.

India’s Position in Global Fisheries:

While India is the world’s third-largest fish producer, contributing roughly 8% of global output, and holds the second position in aquaculture production, its per capita fish consumption ranking remains relatively low at 129th among 183 countries.

Looking Ahead:

The positive trend indicates a promising future for Indian seafood consumption. The study predicts that if current trends continue, fish consumption in India will double by 2048, reaching an estimated 26.50 million metric tons (MT). This growth is expected to be accompanied by a rise in per capita consumption to 16.07 kg annually.

Dr. J.K. Jena, Deputy Director General (Fisheries Science) of ICAR, highlights the significance of ongoing research in understanding the complex interplay between fish consumption, socio-demographic factors, and economic realities at the household level. He emphasizes the critical role fish plays in ensuring food security and combating malnutrition, underscoring its importance for the nation’s overall well-being.

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