June 11, 2024


A look at India's shrimp and fish production in 2023-24




India's farmgate shrimp prices were better at US$3/kg in early 2024 until February and March — before falling to nearly US$2.65/kg.


This year, shrimp farmers started stocking their ponds in mid-January, anticipating better market prices (the average stocking density varied between 40-60/m2). Overall, shrimp seed quality was satisfactory.


However, the demand for shrimp seed was not as high as in 2023. The decline in demand for shrimp seed might continue in the second half of 2024. This trend might even lead to the consolidation of the shrimp hatchery segment in India.


The first shrimp crop will end by June-July 2024. It is expected to be around 500,000 metric tons.


Due to low farmgate prices for shrimp, farmers are looking for ways to reduce input costs. Some of them are looking to use low-cost feeds as they reduce stocking densities in this culture cycle.


Meanwhile, India's shrimp feed milling sector is also experiencing falling demand for feed due to the decline in shrimp farming (the estimated requirement of shrimp feed in farming is around 800,000 metric tons).


The situation with supply and demand for shrimp at the international level is not showing favorable conditions for the Indian shrimp farming industry. Heavy competition from other shrimp-producing countries, rising production levels, and falling or stagnating export demand pose strong challenges to the industry. All these circumstances could lead to consolidation and integration within the sector.


Indeed, the shrimp farming sector has reached a juncture, where a fresh marketing approach is needed. Specifically, it should focus and invest more in domestic consumption and demand generation programmes to sustain itself.


India's 2023 fish production


As for India's total fish production, this was around 17.5 million metric tons last year. The fish farming sector is undergoing a drastic change, placing mounting pressure on traditional fish production zones in the country like Andhra Pradesh.


The north, northeastern and the central states of India (like Assam, Tripura, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh) are major fish consumption pockets. In all these states, local farming communities have started to practice fish farming.


With this shift in the market dynamics, farmers in the traditional fish farming pockets are unable to fetch the minimum viable price for their production. Farmers in these areas need to look for alternate or new culture species that can fetch better prices and profitability.


Efforts are underway to bring in new culture species in those pockets, but the pace of development is very slow. All stakeholders will have to work together to revive the industry in traditional production zones (annual fish feed production there was around 1.3 million metric tons).


Nevertheless, the high market demand for fish is opening opportunities for new farmers to venture into fish farming business.


Farmgate prices for fish in some markets range between US$2.2/kg to US$3.2/kg, Trout farming is developing at a more rapid pace in the Jammu and Kashmir area. The union territory's Fisheries Department has introduced several supporting programmes to encourage trout farming, resulting in enhanced production.


Currently, the annual production of trout from Jammu and Kashmir is more than 2,000 metric tons and this is expected to be doubled in the next two years.  


- Umakanth R. and Dr. Dinesh Bhosale

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