Bhubaneswar, Oct 14 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday called for an ambitious plan to accelerate fish exports from the present level of Rs 2,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore in the next five years.
“We must have an ambitious plan to accelerate exports from the present level of Rs 2,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore in the next five years,” said Patnaik after inaugurating a workshop on “Growth & Export Potentials of Marine Product”.
Pointing out that the state has 24,000 hectares of government land suitable for brackish water aquaculture, he said all Collectors must lease out land to eligible farmers on priority basis as per the government’s policy.
He said the government would facilitate infrastructure development, improvement of fishing harbours and fish landing centres, provision of electricity, and air cargo facility for live and chilled fish to boost exports.
He also said that with the increase of population, the demand of fish in Odisha will be about seven lakh tonnes by 2036 against the current production of 5.2 lakh tonnes.
“The population of our state is likely to reach 5.77 crore by 2036 and we have to keep in view the nutritional needs of the growing population. The demand of fish by 2036 will be about seven lakh tonnes against the current production of 5.2 lakh tonnes,” said the Chief Minister.
He said that while the per capita annual fish consumption in the state is around 11.06 kg, this needs to be enhanced to 15 kg 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.
He said the government has notified Odisha Fisheries Policy, 2015, for holistic development of fisheries sector and a farmer-friendly brackish water land-leasing policy is also in place.
He said the state government has signed a Memorandum of Association (MoA) with World Fish — an international organisation aiming to bring in comprehensive development in the field.
“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 the coming years,” the Chief Minister added.