In order to understand the grassroots-level problems faced by the fishermen of the coastal area and to formulate long-term plans for them, Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Secretary, Department of Fisheries, Government of India visited Penthakata, a seaside village in Puri district of Odisha.
At Penthakata, Dr. Likhi interacted with the Primary Fishermen Co-operative Society (PFCS) members, fisher folk and fisherwomen and learned about their socio-economic status. Fishermen of Penthakata demanded the construction of a fish landing centre – Jetty, hygienic dry fish market and activities related to towel fare of fishermen. He advised the Director of Fisheries, Odisha to look into the demand of fishermen and to extend government assistance under Central and state schemes. He also interacted with fish farmers of Puri district who benefitted under Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampad Yojana (PMMSY).
Dr. Likhi chaired a meeting at ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA) to review the activities carried out by ICAR-CIFA and NFDB-National Fresh Water Fish Brood Bank (NFFBB), Bhubaneswar. He also reviewed the progress of the PMMSY projects in Odisha.
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In a detailed presentation, Dr. Pramoda Kumar Sahoo, Director, ICAR-CIFA, highlighted achievements of the institutes such as genetically improved rohu and catla, GI-scampi, species and system diversification, new and innovative technologies in the field of aquaculture, feed formulations for various freshwater fish species, disease diagnostics and therapeutics, cutting edge research and training for enhancing the skills of farmers and several other stakeholders. Dr. Likhi stressed that CIFA should carry out need-based research for the benefit of the aqua farmers and special focus on diseases due to which the industry losses a huge quantity of fish harvest every year.
An official from NFDB-National Freshwater Fish Brood Bank (NFFBB) presented their activities and explained in detail the objectives of the brood bank, achievements so far and current activities taken up. He informed that NFDB-NFFBB has a multiplication centre for breeding and production of breeder seed of GI fish strains (Carps) and cemented nursery facilities for GI Scampi. He also highlighted that training and capacity building on fish breeding and seed production technology is carried out in order to improve the skills of fish farmers. Dr. Likhi advised NFDB-NFFBB to develop a few commercially important fish varieties with demand in Biofloc and RAS systems.
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The Director of Fisheries, Government of Odisha made a brief presentation on the achievements of Odisha in the fisheries and aquaculture sector. He highlighted that fish production, export and domestic consumption are in increasing trend. Dr. Likhi while reviewing the activities of CIFA and NFFBB also interacted with the exporters, progressive farmers, women self-help groups (SHG), and Fish Framer Producer Organisation (FFPO) members in order to know the priorities of the sector and their aspirations from the government and research institutions.
The secretary urged that both CIFA and NFFBB undertake activities for mass awareness among farmers through intensive campaigns in the electronic, print media, and social media as well as through kisan melas, publications, seminars, and advisories with the involvement of all stakeholders in this sector so that the developed technology and best management practices can reach to the farmers at the earliest so that the farmers can take the benefit of the schemes and new technology.
Dr. Likhi visited the facilities of ICAR-CIFA such as Biofloc unit, GI-Scampi complex, ornamental fish complex and the air-breathing fish unit. He also visited the multiplication facility, the scampi nursery rearing facility of NFFBB and witnessed the GI fish species developed at NFFBB, Kausalyaganga, Odisha.