Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 14:
Odisha Government plans to boost marine product exports to Rs 20,000 crore a year from current Rs 2,000 crore a year within a span of next five years, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said today.
“We must have an ambitious plan to accelerate the exports from the present level of Rs 2,000 crores to Rs 20,000 crores in next five years. We have got 24,000 hectares of government land suitable for brackish water aquaculture and all collectors must lease out land to eligible farmers on priority basis as per the policy,” said Patnaik addressing a workshop on ‘Growth & Export Potentials of Marine Product’ organised by Fisheries & Animal Resources Development Department in Bhubaneswar.
“The state has 32,000 hectares of brackish water resources out of which only 9,000 hectares are now under cultivation. The Vannamei Shrimp Culture has now spread to 5,000 hectares which we would like to increase substantially in coming years,” he added.
Briefing on the model to achieve the ambitious target, he explained that the State Government would also facilitate infrastructure development, improvement of fishing harbours and fish landing centres, provision of electricity, air cargo facility for live and chilled fish to boost exports.
Apart from exports, the Chief Minister laid emphasis on domestic consumption and said that the population of the state is likely to reach 5.77 crores by 2036 and fishery will help fulfill the nutritional needs of the growing population.
“The demand of fish by 2036 will be about 7 lakh MT against the current production is 5.2 lakh MT. The Government has notified Odisha Fisheries Policy, 2015 for holistic development of fisheries sector. A farmer friendly brackish water land leasing policy is also in place. The per capita annual fish consumption in our state is around 11.06 kg. This needs to be enhanced to 15 kgs by 2020. We have to increase fish production through horizontal expansion by new area development and vertical expansion by introduction of new technologies in the sector,” said the Chief Minister.
Explaining the steps taken by the government, he added that the government has signed an MoA with World Fish, an international organisation, to bring in comprehensive development in the field. This collaboration will introduce GIFT Tilapia and promotion of small and indigenous fish production. Besides, the programme is expected to boost the scientific culture, introduction of new species and promote learning as well as good management practices.