INDIA - The government in Odisha state is planning to increase the lease period of waterbodies to five years, giving fish farmers more security.
Earlier the lease period was erratic depending on whims of the authorities concerned, reports the TimesOfIndia.
Most of the waterbodies, including big ponds, are controlled by gram panchayats (GPs) and departments like revenue, fisheries and animal resources development (FARD) and water resources in the state.
Chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi recently advised the FARD department to make pisciculture rewarding and sustainable.
Director of fisheries P Krishna Mohan told the newspaper that GPs lease out village-level ponds for aquaculture while water bodies under revenue department are given on lease by tehsildars. FARD department and water resources departments also lease out ponds to entrepreneurs and farmers, he added.
He said earlier some GPs leased out waterbodies for one year, two years or three years. Due to this erratic lease period, the entrepreneurs did not show any interest to stick to this sector.
"Now with a fixed lease period, the entrepreneurs can draw up proper financial and business plans," he said.
The director said the banks will also show interest to lend financial assistance to farmers after reviewing sustainability of business, he added.
TheFishSite News Desk