Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 22:
Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi today asked the Fishery and Animal Resource Development (F&ARD) Department to focus on building fishery infrastructure in the state in order to create new jobs in fish farming.
Padhi said so while presiding over a review meeting on the progress of actions to achieve sea food export of worth Rs 20,000 crore in the next five years at the State Secretariat today.
According to a survey conducted in 2013, Odisha has doubled the farmers’ real income during the last decade through high value commercial activities in fishery.
Besides, according to data provided by the government, total fish production in the state has grown consistently over last four years owing to financial and technical supports to fish farmers.
While total fish production was 4,10,144 metric tonne in 2012-13, it went up to 4,13,889 metric tonne in 2013-14. It further reached 4,69,548 metric tonne in 2014-15 and 5,21,278 metric tonne in 2015-16.
As per data released in the review meeting, 34 sea food exporters are operating in Odisha currently including 22 manufacturers and 12 merchants. Odisha’s sea food finds its major market in eastern Europe, Japan, China, Middle East and south eastern Asian countries.
With the completion of road and power connectivity to the aqua culture clusters the production cost in the state, the government expects that the sector would be more competitive and would fetch more income to the fish farmers.
Speaking on the occasion, the F&ARD secretary spoke about the urgent need for developing infrastructure to 19 priority aquaculture clusters.
It may be mentioned here that 107 brackish aquaculture clusters have been identified in various places of the state mostly along the continental shelf of which 19 clusters have been taken up in first phase on priority basis.
The chief secretary directed the executing agencies to expedite the power supply work to these clusters and complete those in various phases from December 2016 to March 2017. Further, he asked the agencies to prepare a timeline for electrification of balance 88 clusters and complete the work within March 2018.