INDIA - Looking at immense opportunity in aquaculture in Odisha state, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has unveiled a $16 million scheme for fish farming in five district of the state.
While all the 12 blocks of Balasore district have been covered, one block each of Jagatsingpur, Mayurbhanj and Rayagada districts are included in the scheme.
The scheme was launched recently by H R Khan, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the presence of J K Singh Kharb, executive director of Allahabad Bank and P K Jena, regional director, RBI-Bhubaneswar will be operational from March 2015.
As per Nabard, Odisha has 121,000 hectares (ha) total water area available under ponds and tanks, out of which only 80,000 ha have been brought under aquaculture.
Out of the $16 million outlay for five districts, about $12 million will be in the form of bank credit and the balance will be invested by the beneficiaries.
Activities like fish farming in both new and renovated ponds, eco-hatcheries, integrated farming with horticulture and livestock, fish seed banks and aqua shops have been included in the scheme along with the farm models.
According to Nabard, average fish productivity of the state stands at 1000 kg per acre of pond, much below than the expected productivity of 2000 kg per acre.
After the scheme is fully implemented, Nabard hopes to increase in productivity of ponds from the present level of 1000 kg per acre of pond to at least 2000 kg per acre.
The scheme targets an annual production of additional 3500 tonnes of fresh water fishes, production of 250 tonnes of prawn, 700,000 litres of milk, 15000 duck eggs, 4000 kg of duck meat and 20 tonnes of poultry meat.