Odisha will soon have additional water bodies for freshwater aquaculture as the government on Monday, launched the 'Fish Pond Yojna', a state-sponsored scheme that will ensure income generation and employment creation through the promotion of aquaculture.
In order to give aquaculture a boost, the government will also offer subsidies to farmers to build water tanks.
A farmer will be given a bank loan of Rs 8.5 lakh per hectare for excavation of new tank. So the government can provide maximum 50 percent of the total cost (Rs 4.25 lakh per hectare) as subsidy money.
According to a senior officer from FARD, a maximum of two hectares for each farmer will be supported to undertake intensive aquaculture. Farmers can also create ponds for production of fingerlings.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced this Yojna while he attended a workshop organized by the fisheries and animal resources development (FARD) department in Bhubaneshwar.
He informed that the state has introduced the 'Fish Pond Yojana' with a budgetary provision of Rs 96 crore which will facilitate the creation of additional 2,200 hectares of freshwater aquaculture farming with 50 percent financial assistance to farmers.
Field level fisheries officials will play a vital role in identifying beneficiaries and select sites at the block level.
Although Odisha produces 6 lakh MT fish (both marine and freshwater) annually, it has to import 40,000 metric tonne of freshwater fish from neighbouring state every year due to its high demand.