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Fisheries Dept. Hosts National Webinar on 'Promotion of Frozen Fish and Fish Products'

While discussing the current market scenario and technologies involved, the panellists also highlighted on-the-ground challenges such as consumers' low preference for frozen fish over fresh fish, a fragmented supply chain, low positioning of frozen fish and fish products in the consumer market, low product availability, and so on.

Shivam Dwivedi
Making frozen fish and fish products accessible to broaden the consumer base
Making frozen fish and fish products accessible to broaden the consumer base

As part of the celebration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India organised a national webinar on "Promotion of frozen fish and fish products" on November 29, 2022.

Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary, Department of Fisheries (DoF), Government of India (GOI), presided over the event, which was well-attended by entrepreneurs, fisheries associations, officials of the Department of Fisheries, GoI, and fisheries officials of various States/UTs, faculties from state agriculture, veterinary, and fisheries universities, fisheries research institutes, fisheries cooperative officers, scientists, students, and stakeholders from fisheries across the country.

Sagar Mehra, Joint Secretary, opened the webinar with a welcome address (Inland Fisheries). Sagar Mehra briefly discussed the current state of the Indian Fisheries sector, the DoF's flagship scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), and the importance of increasing domestic fish consumption to ensure nutritional support to marginalised communities and the domestic proliferation of fish businesses. He emphasised that increasing domestic fish consumption should be India's risk mitigation strategy for ensuring sectoral growth in the event of global fish market uncertainties.

Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary, DoF (GOI), highlighted the importance of making frozen fish and fish products accessible to broaden the consumer base and working on building consumer trust to sell frozen fish and fish products. To increase consumer trust, he suggested that because current exporters adhere to stringent quality standards, the same quality frozen fish and fish products be extended to the domestic market with the necessary labeling and certifications.

He also emphasised the importance of utilizing the existing supply chain of other products to increase consumer accessibility in urban, semi-urban, and interior areas. G. S. Rath (Sr. General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Falcon Marine Exports Limited), A J Tharakan (Chairman, Amalgam Group of Companies), and Mathew Joseph (COO & Co-Founder, Fresh to Home) were invited to speak on market trends, consumer insights, and technologies used in the processing of frozen fish and fish products during the technical session.

Furthermore, the speakers highlighted the areas of opportunity and suggested strategies for moving forward. This included creating market campaigns for frozen fish and fish products by raising consumer awareness and implementing behavioural change communication campaigns, establishing processing plants to reduce transactional costs, leveraging the Ready-To-Eat (RTE) and Ready-To-Cook (RTC) consumer base, developing policies around organizing fish markets to bring in price transparency, streamlined processes for quality and ease of doing business, and so on.

The experts' videos on industrial practises and the questions raised during the open forum made the session interactive and fruitful. The insightful discussions also yielded follow-up action points for developing sectoral strategies and action plans. Dr. S. K. Dwivedi, Assistant Commissioner (Fy), DoF, proposed a vote of thanks to the chair, delegates, guest speakers, and participants at the end of the webinar.

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