To harness the fishing opportunities of the State’s resources, Government has envisioned setting up Odisha Univesity of Fishery & Aquaculture for greater innovations and wider applications.
This was discussed in a high level meeting held under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi here today.
Secretary Fisheries & Animal Resource Development Bishnupada Sethi presented the proposal and necessity for the University.
Development Commissioner Sri R. Balakrishnan participating in the discussion advised to conceptualize the University as a thematic & outcome oriented institution from the beginning instead of planning it as a generic & theoretical University.
He added that it should be developed as a state of Art University focusing on direct linkage with farmers and field applications.
While nodding the proposal in principle, Chief Secretary Mr.Padhi directed the department to focus on short & medium-term strategies for boosting the farmers’ income in coming 3 to 5 years. Sri Padhi also asked to department to develop inland fishery as another source of income for large number of farmers’ families in rural areas.
Chief Secretary further advised the departments to list out the fingerling producers in the State and mobilizes them and change-agents. Development Commissioner Mr.Balakrishnan advised to provide extension services through them. The department was also advised to carry forward the fishing activities in convergence with the Department of Panchayati Raj.
Presenting proposal for the University, Secretary F&ARD Mr.Sethi mentioned that Odisha presently contributes to about 5% of the fish production in the country and about 17% of the value of Indian maritime product export.
State has the resources like 480 kms of coastline along with 24,000 sq kms of area within continental shelf. Fresh water resources is estimated around 6.79 lakh hectare comprising of 1.28 lakh hector of ponds, 2 lakh hectare of reservoirs, 1.80 lakh hectare of lakes, swamps and 1.71 lakh hectors of rivers & canals. Brackish water resources are around 4.18 lakh hectare.
With these resources, inland fishery and fresh water aquaculture can be taken to new heights through scientific fishery.
Mr.Sethi further mentioned that the proposed university would cater to the basic requirements like delivering professional courses, creating technical manpower, innovating technical know-how, skilling the farmers through direct exposure and designing the best practices. The University would create a technical and scientific network connecting individual farmers, organizations and institutes.
Secretary Skill Development & Technical Education Sanjay Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary Fisheries Shailendra Dwibedi , Director Fisheries Bijaya Ketan Upadhaya along with other senior officers of the department participated in discussions.