Reported by Sandeep Pattnaik
Bhubaneswar, Jan 20:
The State Government has embarked upon a new initiative to provide Dedicated Electrical Feeders (DEFs) to around 30 prawn/shrimp farming clusters in the 2013-14 fiscal year and has made a budget allocation of about Rs 50 crore for the purpose, a senior official of the Directorate of Fisheries told OST on Monday.
“The DEFs are to be set up with the support of aerator machines at the clusters to provide oxygen for prawn farming,” the official said adding, “The initiative by the Odisha Government to set up oxygen supplying feeders is the first of its kind enywhere.”
There are 30 shrimp clusters located in Balasore, Ganjam, Bhadrak and Puri districts, the official said. “Twelve clusters will be equipped with DEFs by June, 2014 and the rest by December end,” he said.
Last week, Chief Secretary JK Mohaptra directed officials to prioritise infrastructural support like road, land and power to boost shrimp/prawn farming in 125 identified fishing clusters of the state.
“Lack of infrastructure has always been the stumbling block for the growth of the fisheries sector in the state,” the official revealed to OST.
“Budget allocation for upgrading the infrastructure in the 125 identified fisheries clusters will be done after the detailed progress report has been made and the fund is to be allocated keeping in view the priority of the project,” he said.
The departments of Rural Development and Water Resources have been asked to focus on construction of roads to identified clusters, while the Energy department will ensure dedicated power supply to the fish farms.
The State Government has asked the district collectors to expeditiously implement the land lease policy formulated for the growth of aquaculture and to dispose of the applications by small and medium entrepreneurs for land on lease for shrimp culture expeditiously.
Aquaculture and marine fisheries is considered as the food basket for a significant number of families in the State. The State also exports more than Rs 800.00 crores worth of shrimp and seafood every year.
According to Fishery Survey of India (FSI), the fisheries potential of Odisha is 5.14 lakhs MT. The present total fish production of the state is 4.10 lakhs MT (1.18 lakh tonnes in the marine sector, 2.62 lakh tonnes in the inland sector and 0.30 lakh tonnes in the brackish water segment).The present level of fish production in the State is about 79.29% of the overall fisheries potential.
About 2.95 % of the state’s population (10.84 lakh) depends upon fisheries for their livelihood. Of them, 7.51 lakh depend on inland fisheries and 3.33 lakh on marine fisheries. The fisheries sub-sector contributed about 6% to the GSDP share of the Agriculture Sector.
The perspective plan for the fisheries sector in Odisha has been prepared based on the Vision 2020 for Fisheries Management and Development, the official revealed to OST.