Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s brackish water aquaculture in Odisha has marked a stunned growth of 747 percent in last ten years with a concomitant increase in the value of sea food exports from the State. This was known from a high level meeting held on Friday under the chairmanship of chief secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra wherein principal secretary revenue and disaster management Bishnupada Sethi outlined the existing land leasing provisions for commercial brackish aquaculture in the State.

Reviewing the progress made so far, chief secretary Mahapatra directed the departments of R & DM, fisheries and animal resources development, forest and environment department and IDCO to work out a dynamic and facilitating policy for taping the available potential of brackish water 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 F & ARD operating at different levels were asked to drive the programme in proactive manner.

Additional chief secretary F & E Dr Mona Sharma advised to identify 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.

Presenting the updates, secretary F & ARD R. Raghu Prasad said that there was significant growth in the sector over 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 percent. Similarly, the area under brackish water aquaculture also increased from 5860 hect to 17,780 hect during the same period.
Concomitantly, the sea food export value from Odisha also increased from Rs. 801 cr in the year 2011-12 to Rs 3107 cr 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 MTin the year 2020-21.

He appraised that Odisha sea food has caught the global market more particularly in Japan, China, countries in USA, European Union, South East Asia and Middle East. Sri 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 Sri 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 commercial basis.
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.

Additional chief secretary and agriculture production commissioner Raj Kumar Sharma and executive director IDCO Bhupendra Singh Poonia participated in the deliberations.