BHUBANESWAR: Prawn culture is all set to get a make over in the State. In a bid to produce more export variety of shrimps, the State Government has set a target to enhance the farming area for brackish water prawn cultivation.
While the State had exported seafood of around `2,000 crore last year, it has mooted an ambitious plan to touch the export figure of `20,000 crore in next five years. As part of the five-year plan, it has been decided to lease out 24,000 ha of Government land and develop required infrastructure for shrimp farming.
“We have also planned to develop at least 1,000 ha of land for aquaculture every year. While ` five lakh would be spent per acre for infrastructure development, a proposal of `50 crore has been sent to the Centre,” said an official of the Directorate of Fisheries.
The Government would provide infrastructural support, including dedicated electricity feeder and road connectivity, to all 107 clusters in Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Ganjam districts.
The clusters would be connected with all weather roads and round-the-clock electricity supply besides renovation of both in-let and out-let water channels. There are also proposals to develop a number of shrimp hatcheries to provide farmers quality seeds.
Odisha had exported 35,630 tonne of sea food, including frozen shrimps, fish, cuttle fish and crab, to EU, USA, Japan, China, Middle East and Asian countries during 2015-16. Production of exportable variety of shrimp should increase to 3,60,000 tonne in order to achieve the export target of `20,000 crore. “An export promotion cell, the first of its kind in the country, has been created to achieve the export target. Besides, the avenues are looked into for diversification of other species which can fetch export market. Sea bass, Pangasius and Tilapia are the alternate species which are much preferred varieties in overseas countries,” the officer added.
As there is immense scope in the State for taking up intensive culture of these species, the directorate is imbibing technical inputs from eminent institutions to promote culture of the fish varieties.
While brackish water fish farmers are being encouraged to produce shrimps through adoption of best management practices, support is provided for stocking of disease-free vannamei seeds in order to encourage sustainable aquaculture.
The State Government has also signed a memorandum of agreement with World Fish, Malaysia for providing technical expertise for increasing fish production and productivity in the inland fisheries sector, value addition and encouraging participation of private investors.