Wed, 22 Sep 2021

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], 24 July (ANI): As another achievement in the rural economy, brackish water aquaculture in Odisha marked a stunning growth of 747 per cent in the last ten years with a concomitant increase in the value of seafood exports from the State, said the Odisha Government on Friday.

This was revealed at a high-level meeting held on digital mode under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra from Lokseba Bhawan wherein Principal Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management Bishnupada Sethi outlined the existing land leasing provisions for commercial brackish aquaculture in the State.

Presenting the updates, State Secretary, Fisheries and Animal Resource Development, R Raghu Prasad said that there was significant growth in the sector over the last 10 years because of the constant persuasion and facilitation.

The production of brackish water fish increased from 11,460 MT in the year 2011-12 to 97,125 MT in the year 2020-21 thereby marking a record growth of 747.51 per cent. Similarly, the area under brackish water aquaculture also increased from 5860 hectares to 17,780 hectares during the same period.

Concomitantly, the seafood export value from Odisha also increased from Rs 801 crores in the year 2011-12 to Rs 3107 crores in the year 2020-21 in spite of the economic slowdown caused by COVID-19. The quantum of export in the year 2011-12 was around 21,311 MT which increased to 60,718 MT in the year 2020-21.

Further, Secretary Prasad appraised that Odisha seafood has caught the global market more particularly in Japan, China, countries in the USA, European Union, South East Asia and the Middle East.

Prasad also appraised, "there is greater potential of brackish aquaculture in the State both in the Government and private land. The sector also can attract more private investments".

Chief Secretary Mahapatra directed to tap the potentialities in the sector by bringing in the self-help groups, primary fishermen cooperative societies, women cooperatives, educated unemployed enterprising youths, partnership farms and state-owned cooperatives on a commercial basis.

The review showed recently around 2000 applications for brackish water aquaculture were submitted to different Tahasils in five major coastal districts namely Balasore, Bhardak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Ganjam.

Chief Secretary Mahapatra directed the concerned district administration to take quick action on the proposals as per the existing provisions.

Reviewing the progress made so far, Chief Secretary Mahapatra directed the departments of Revenue and Disaster Management, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development, Forest and Environment department and Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) to work out a dynamic and facilitating policy for taping the available potential of Brackishwater aquaculture in the State.

IDCO was directed to identify the potential land in different districts and develop a land bank for the purpose in close coordination with fishery officers and respective collectors.

Mahapatra also directed IDCO to identify land in clusters and develop the facilities like saline water drainage, road and power connectivity for building aquaculture parks. The officers of the Fisheries and Animal Resource Development operating at different levels were asked to drive the programme in a proactive manner.

Additional Chief Secretary, Forest and Environment, Mona Sharma advised identifying the land patches for brackish water aquaculture keeping in view the regulations of coastal area regulatory zone(CRZ) notification and costal aquaculture authority Act so as to avoid any possible embarrassment to the famers in future.

Further, Chief Secretary Mahapatra directed holding consultations with the operating farmers, farms along other stakeholders; and, take their input for making the policy more forward-looking, facilitating and effective. (ANI)

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