Bhubaneswar: To make the most of the upcoming cold storage facilities at Biju Patnaik International Airport here, the Odisha government has set an ambitious target to export seafood worth Rs 3,000 crore during the current fiscal.
“Odisha has witnessed increase in exports from 14,161 tonnes in 2007-08 to 35,630 tonnes in 2015-16. It generated foreign exchange earnings worth Rs 347.9 crore in 2007-08, while the amount was Rs 1,787.84 crore in 2015-16. This year, the target has been fixed at Rs 3,000 crore,” Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Secretary, Bishnupada Sethi, said.
Sethi added that the state had exported seafood worth Rs 4,794.72 crore in the last three years and the products have a great demand in South-East Asia, the US, Europe and Japan.
He said fishery products from Chilika lake are very popular in foreign countries. “We have produced 13,137 tonnes of fish, crab, prawn and squid from Chilika alone.”
Noting that the state has a great potential to increase seafood exports, Sethi said the state government has decided to create necessary infrastructure like air cargo handling at Biju Patnaik International Airport to facilitate seafood export to other countries.
The state government is partnering Airports Authority of India for the cold storage which is likely to be completed this year itself.
Sethi said the state government will hold discussion with Paradip Port for more containers with modern facilities for export of seafood via sea route.
Meanwhile, Sethi said 4,333 new employment opportunities have been generated under the Department of Fisheries and Animal Resource Development (DoF&ARD) while implementing the new agriculture policy of the state government.
Sethi said this during a review meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary AP Padhi last evening.
A total of 137 dairy farms were established by inducting 3,419 cross-bred cows in the dairy sector in the state with a project cost of Rs 1,816.16 lakh in between 2008-09 and 2015-16 through the DoF&ARD, he said.
During the same period, at least 614 commercial broiler units were established with a total bird capacity of 35,38,150 and a project cost of Rs 11,241.66 lakh, he pointed out.
This apart, 16 commercial layer units were established with induction of 4,95,709 birds involving a total project cost of Rs 2,249.30 lakh.
As many as 51 small ruminant units involving sheep and goats were established with induction of 8,457 animals involving a project cost of Rs 492.05 lakh, Sethi added.