February 24, 2020
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Domestic marketing of aquaculture produce

Two case studies were taken up to evaluate the opportunities available for sustaining brackishwater aquaculture sector by bringing a shift in focus from export to domestic consumption.The   Sundarbans of West Bengal and Ernakulam district of Kerala were the sites  chosen for this study.

The average sale prices collected from the market intermediaries in Howrah and Kakdwip fish markets are depicted.There was a wide variation in the price of tiger shrimp due to variation in size/count per kilogram. The demand for hilsa and sea bass peaked during festival seasons. Though large quantities of Indian Major Carps (IMC) received from Andhra Pradesh were consumed, they fetched a very low price due to lack of freshness compared to locally available farmed or captured fi sh species.   Tilapia was observed to be the cheapest fi sh available in local markets mainly catering to the poor people. The data collated (Fig. 51) indicates that the   farmers   received a lesser share in  the consumer prices when compared to middle men in the case of low value fi shes compared to hilsa, seabass and shrimp ( Fig. 51). The signifi cance of the share of the middlemen in the consumer rupee.

The second case study was conducted in Kerala. The Kerala State Co-operative Federation for Fisheries Development Ltd. (MATSYAFED) has introduced the Fresh Fish Express Points and Fish booths’ under the Tsunami Emergency Assistance Programme (TEAP) with an aim to generate additional income to affected families.

The Self Help Group (SHGs) were encouraged to procure fish from landing centers, stock the procurement in ice boxes and then supply it to small restaurants and markets in far-fl ung areas. Apart from fresh fish, fish pickles, prawn pickles, dryfish were also sold in fish booths and hence their profit realization was the highest among the three models. This is the first time in the country that community based marketing stalls were introduced specially for women fi sher folk with the active participation, infrastructure support, and technical back-up from the government. The three models developed by MATSYAFED need to be emulated in other states as they provide a livelihood security to fisherwomen, increase the price realization by fishers and helps eliminate middlemen.