BHUBANESWAR: With an ambitious target of achieving RS 10,000 crore fish exports by 2020, the State Government has opened up its coastal land to private entrepreneurs including large firms and exporters for brackish water aquaculture.
The Government has announced to provide half of the total around 24,000 hectares (ha) of coastal land suitable for brackish water aquaculture on lease to private companies as well as State PSUs.
The objective is to give a push to fish production in Odisha. The State has been witnessing an increase in fish production in recent years with 2013-14 touching the highest level of 4.67 lakh tonnes and garnering export revenue to the tune of Rs 2300 crore, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Secretary Bishnupad Sethi said.
Encouraged by 13 per cent growth in fish production and 26 per cent in exports, the Fisheries Department has drawn up an ambitious plan for doubling the figures in next five years. Optimum utilisation of land and water resources is key to achieving the target.
Of total 24,000 ha of usable area, only around 7,000 ha has been brought under brackish water aquaculture so far. In a bid to accelerate growth, the Government has revised principles for lease of brackish water areas to allow more entrepreneurship along with inflow of technology and expertise into the field.
As per a notification issued by Revenue and Disaster Management Department, the coastal land across districts would be identified by District Committees and earmarked for two categories on 50-50 basis.
The first category would include beneficiaries of anti-poverty programmes, people under BPL category, fishermen, landless persons, educated unemployed youths, SHGs, women cooperatives and primary fishermen cooperatives. The second category includes partnership firms, technical entrepreneurs, State-owned corporations and companies and exporters registered in Odisha.
For category one, allotment of land would be to the tune of one ha to five ha per beneficiary or organisation. In case of entrepreneurs, firms, corporations and exporters under category two, land would be allotted on recommendation of the District-Level Committee.
While the Collector of the district would be competent to grant lease upto 10 ha of brackish water area, the Revenue Department will decide on larger areas. Lease of more than 10 ha will be sanctioned after the approval of State level Committee under Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management Department. The lease period will be for 75 years.