It may be mentioned that Odisha imports around 30-40 per cent fish from the neighbouring states. Seeking three reservoirs in the periphery of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, Mishra said FISHCOPFED is ready to provide all assistance to the cooperative societies.
Explaining the factors for the decline in fish production in Odisha, he said poor selection of seedlings and culture practices are the main reasons. “The contribution of the State to the national fish production is about five percent. India had produced 7.5 million tonne fish in 2011-12 fiscal”, Mishra informed.
He, however, lamented that the state government has no control over fixing the price of fish as a result of which the farmers have suffered a lot. Present on the occasion, Prakash M Lonare, president of FISHCOPFED said that the Centre should come out with a uniform guideline for the Central and state fishing sectors for the benefit of the fishermen. “The Centre should give importance to the fishing sector as it gives to agriculture sector”, he pointed out.
Stating that the middlemen are exploiting the fishermenby not giving them the actual price of the produce, he said that the government is planning to make a policy for fixing the prices of fish. “However, it will take time”, he added. Out of a total of about 15,000 primary communities in the country, Odisha has 1000 primary communities of which 500 fishing communities are functioning presently. About 10 lakh fishermen in the state are presently insured. In the five years, about 200 beneficiaries have availed insurance benefit.
Speaking about the cooperatives conference, president of FISHFED, T Prasad Rao Dora said that the conference would discuss about the opportunities and challenges before the cooperatives business with reference to various policy initiatives taken by the eastern states.
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