This was said in a report released by Yes Bank at the Global Grain & Global Feed event held in Pune recently.
As per an estimate, currently, India’s aqua feed consumption is around 1 million tonnes and assuming on an average 1.5 feed conversation ratio (industry standards), the demand for aqua feed comes to around 7 million tonnes by 2017-18, the report said.
India’s seafood production was recorded at 9 million tonnes in 2012-13 and due to rapid changes in shrimp and fish farming, production capacities for modern feed has gradually gone up to 2.88 million tonnes during 2013-14.
India has around 26 aqua feed mills spread across the country. However, their production capacities are only 43.4 per cent with a total production of 1.25 million tonnes.
To meet the requirement, India imports more than half of the requirements from other countries, so there is huge scope in aqua feed.
With the introduction of vannamei shrimp, the cultured shrimp production is growing at 16 per cent.
The demand from shrimp will drive the growth of the aqua feed industry at five to six per cent annually.
The feed demand only from shrimp and fresh water shrimp is around 1 million tonnes.
India currently has 13 feed mills that can produce modern feed for the shrimp sector with a production capacity of 1.33 million tonnes.
On fish feed, the current installed capacity is 1.55 million tonnes. The total feed production for shrimp and fish stands at 572,000 tonnes and 684,000 tonnes respectively, the report adds.
Shrimp production growth has driven consumption growth by 13 per cent between 2007-08 and 2012-13 reaching almost 300,000 tonnes in 2013-14.
Disease outbreaks remain one of the major risks affecting the growth of the aquaculture feed industry.
Freshwater fish feed demand has grown rapidly, driven by the growth in the freshwater fish segment in India.
Current freshwater fish feed production is estimated at 0.7 million tonnes and significant investment has gone into the creation of capacities. It is expected that the demand for fresh water fish feed is expected to grow at five to six per cent in the near term.
Emphasising on emerging markets for aqua feed, the report said that current market players and feed mill investors are looking for market diversification options to increase feed capacity utilization.
Currently, Andhra Pradesh constitutes the major share in the domestic market, accounting for feed sales at almost 60,000 tonnes per month followed by other states with below 5000 tonnes sale a month.
After 2008 many aqua feed mills have started manufacturing floating/pellet feeds for the farming of freshwater fish.
Cheaper feed ingredients like deoiled rice bran, wheat bran, cottonseed cake and groundnut cake are extensively used in freshwater aquaculture. Both conventional and non-conventional feed ingredients are used in feed formulation for shrimps.
Feed ingredients like fishmeal, squid meal, lecithin, cereal flour and other essential and propriety additives and fish oil are also used in prawn and shrimp feed formulations.
Freshwater fish are fed with farm made feeds which consists of a mixture of rice bran, wheat bran and oilseed cakes, the report said.
Globally, the aqua feed market has witnessed an exponential growth owing to factors such as growing consumption of seafood and growth of the aquaculture industry as a whole. India along with US, China and Brazil are the leading aqua feed producers across the world.
The report also said that Asia Pacific is the largest market for aqua feed consumption, contributing to over 70 per cent of the overall consumption.
An Altech-2015 Global Feed survey stated that the world has produced an estimated 41 million tonnes of aqua feed during the last year. With Asia Pacific and China as one of the leading consumer and producers of aqua feed.