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Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi Inspires Entrepreneurs and Start-ups to Unleash the Untapped Potential of Fisheries Sector

The Department of Fisheries, in collaboration with various stakeholders, continues to encourage startups and innovation, shaping the future of fisheries in the country.

Shivam Dwivedi
Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi Inspires Entrepreneurs and Start-ups to Unleash the Untapped Potential of Fisheries Sector (Photo Source: PIB)
Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi Inspires Entrepreneurs and Start-ups to Unleash the Untapped Potential of Fisheries Sector (Photo Source: PIB)

On January 12, 2024, the Secretary of the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying (MoFAH&D), chaired a virtual interaction meeting with the winners of the Fisheries Startup Grand Challenge and other fisheries startups. The objective was to assess their progress, address concerns, and explore avenues for further support. In collaboration with the Startup India hub and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the Department of Fisheries initiated the Fisheries Startup Grand Challenge.

This challenge aimed to identify, reward, and acknowledge startups making significant contributions to the fisheries ecosystem. Out of 121 applicants addressing four identified problem statements, 12 startups emerged as winners after a rigorous evaluation process.

Key Initiatives and Support

During the meeting, Secretary Abhilaksh Likhi highlighted various initiatives undertaken by the Department of Fisheries to promote the startup ecosystem in the fisheries and aquaculture sector. This included events such as National Fish Farmers Day and the first edition of the Global Fisheries Conference in 2023. The Secretary emphasized the continued support provided to promote fisheries startups.

Joint Secretary (Inland Fisheries) Sagar Mehra emphasized the importance of startups in fostering innovation within the fisheries and aquaculture sector. As of December 31st, 2023, 96 startups in the fisheries sector were recognized by DPIIT. Joint Secretary (Marine Fisheries) Neetu Kumari Prasad identified key gaps in the fisheries sector where startups could make significant interventions, such as the reduction of feed cost, availability of quality seed, e-commerce platforms, marketing, and technology interventions in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS).

Stakeholder Interaction

Representatives and entrepreneurs appreciated the Department of Fisheries for providing platforms to showcase their innovations and connect with stakeholders in the fisheries and aquaculture sector. During the interaction, 24 startups shared their views, with over 100 participants from various organizations including DoF, ICAR, NFDB, FSI, and Invest India.

Startups highlighted the need for marketing support, technology/product validation from ICAR institutes, access to sectoral data trends, collaboration with states for forward and backward linkages, and financial support for pilot and expansion through various Department of Fisheries schemes.

Commitment to Support: Future Initiatives

Several new initiatives were discussed during the meeting, including artificial reef systems, blue credits, and a platform-of-platforms for the fisheries sector. These initiatives aim to address challenges and capitalize on opportunities in the industry.

Dr. L. Narasimha Murthy, Chief Executive I/c & Senior Executive Director of NFDB, summarized the focus areas of discussion and affirmed the Department of Fisheries' commitment to continue supporting startups. Frequent dialogues with startups and other stakeholders will be organized to facilitate collaborations, both government-to-business (G2B) and business-to-business (B2B).

As India strives to accelerate growth in the fisheries sector, the integration of innovative ideas becomes crucial. The government's commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and supporting startups demonstrates a dedication to the holistic growth and development of the fisheries and aquaculture industry.

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