Rising Popularity of Aquaculture: Government Initiatives to Help Growth
The practice of aquaculture is becoming more popular around the world. With its numerous purposes, it helps food production and restores endangered species. In addition, it has become a prevailing alternative as a protein-rich food source, offering a variety of benefits for rising health concerns, such as high cholesterol levels.
Aquaculture production is useful in other capacities, too. For example, algae have been grown as a substitute for fossil fuel and an alternate fuel source that is a cleaner, more cultivable source of energy. This could lead to a total remodel of the energy sector and help strengthen economies around its production. Similarly, various other experiments and research and development initiatives are leveraging the growth of aquaculture, and great opportunities exist for the future.
With this growing sector and economic potential, the aquaculture market has seen greater investment in the past few years, as projects that associated with its practice become the trend. Furthermore, market players are also initiating new strategies in this space, as demand for seafood production continues to increase. Due to this rising demand, according to a report published by Allied Market Research, the global aquaculture market is expected to hit $378 billion by 2027. Expansion of the food and beverage industry and an increase in sources that provide fish are the major factors that would contribute to the market growth.
Recently, the Fisheries Minister in Western Australia, Peter Tinley, participated in a series of online meetings with international investors to expand the growth prospects in the aquaculture industry in that immediate region. The local government has further promoted the advantages of financing in that sector, and a new aquaculture plan was introduced to expand its market-development. Western Australia also established a dedicated investment and trade in 2019, which is now implementing key strategies for international investment.
This level of expansion is growing around the world among other governmental bodies, and several plans and policies have been introduced in different regions to uphold the development, investment and growth of the market. For example, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recently launched a new plan, Pradhan Mantri Matsya Smapada Yojana (PMMSY). This plan aims to upkeep the aquaculture industry and augment production; it also includes an export approach to help double farmers' income. With this, several other technology initiatives have been launched, which has seen the boom of mobile apps like e-Gopala.
With the advent of this new technology to drive market growth, improving productivity is also a key focus. Currently, the state government of Odisha in India has presented biofloc farming technology to increase intensive aquaculture. The technology aims to offer employment to unemployed people, interested farmers and entrepreneurs affected during the pandemic. Furthermore, the biofloc platform also helps farmers to produce fishes in tanks with connected pipes in bulks.
The aquaculture market will only continue to grow, as lifestyle changes happen globally and the demand for protein-rich diet drives key changes. The health benefits of a seafood diet and its ability to help fight disease (Alzheimer's, cancer, etc.) is an additional value-add for this food source. Advancement of technology in this field and the escalation of the retail market will only further promote the development of the sector.
The pandemic, however, has been challenging for the industry and led to some closures, supply chain disruption, lack of workforce and import and export bans (among others). But as regulations begin to relax in various regions with the rollout of the vaccine and some return of economic normalcy, the industry is recovering rapidly in certain regions.
Initiatives that some governments have taken, with policies and plans that drive aquaculture industry growth, only further pave the way for future development, alongside technology solutions. This growth will yield more opportunities for key market players and farmers in the near future and makes aquaculture definitely a sector to watch.