Focus on fisheries will aid Odisha: CIFA scientists

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Bhubaneswar: The special budgetary allocation of Rs 825 crore for the fisheries sector, as announced by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, can give an impetus to the highly unorganised sector in the coastal state of Odisha, scientists from CIFA said.

According to the fish experts from the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA), Bhubaneswar, the special corpus for fisheries and announcements made for the sector is likely to assist in more production and business of the fish and their products.

“The Budget has given importance to the sector. Earlier the government carved out a special ministry to focus on the fisheries and now special allocations have also been given to the sector. By inclusion of more Fish Farmer Producer Organisations (Fish FPOs), the sector which is highly unorganized will move towards an organized sector,” said Dr BC Mohapatra, Principal Scientist, CIFA.

The scientist claimed that currently the fish business is done in a random manner and needs more steps towards organizing it. Mohapatra claimed that more focus on the sector in the Budget is a welcome move.

The Union government in the Budget had announced that by 2022-23, fish production will be raised to 200 lakh tonnes. “Growing of algae, sea-weed and cage culture will also be promoted. Our government will involve youth in fishery extension through 3477 Sagar Mitras and 500 Fish FPOs. We hope to raise fishery exports to Rs 1 lakh crore by 2024-25,” the Finance Minister had said in the Budget statement.

It was also proposed that the Indian Railways will set up a “Kisan Rail” – through PPP arrangements— to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, including milk, meat and fish. There shall be refrigerated coaches in Express and Freight trains as well.

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