The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has brought attention to the importance of the coastal areas and the welfare of hardworking fishermen.  He mentioned the comprehensive plan to develop the blue economy in the two coastal states of Kerala and Karnataka and South Indian states. The Blue Economy will be an essential source of Aatamnirbhar India. Prime Minister also introduced the objective of turning the coastal region of India into a role model of ease of living and ease of doing business, as well as the focus on multi-modal connectivity to be connected to the ports and coastal roads.

According to the Prime Minister, the Indian Government has taken several steps to improve the coastal ecosystem. Helping the fisherman communities in the coastal areas with deep-sea fishing, separate fisheries department, providing affordable loans has been one of the precedences. He spoke about the recently launched 20 thousand crores Matasya Samapada Yojna which will directly benefit lakhs of fishermen in Kerala and Karnataka. India is progressing rapidly in fishery-related exports, and it plays a vital role in fulfilling the growing demand for seaweed, as farmers are being encouraged for seaweed farming.

Besides the actions taken by the government, The New Indian Express sites that 69-year-old Batakrushna Sahoo, who is a progressive fish breeder and the retired clerk, has taken up a mission of empowering youth and farmers with knowledge on pisciculture. The Aquaculture Field School, set up in Sahoo’s 15-acre fish hatchery by ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture in 2009, is the epicenter for fish farming in Khurda. Sahoo has trained around 7000 fish farmers and youth in fish breeding, seed production, freshwater aquaculture, and pond management since 2009.He holds four free training programs per year. They are open for anyone who is interested in aquaculture and fish breeding, not only in Odisha but also in neighboring states.

Besides his school activities, Sahoo also produces spawn and fry of Indian carp like Rohu, Catla, and Mrigal and some exotic, ornamental fish varieties at his hatchery. The annual production is around ten crore spawn and 1,200 kg of fish fingerlings in a year that he provides to 386 farmers across eight districts, Odisha.

Badriyya Soltanli

(Source:PM Modi-Blue Economy; Odisha-revolutionising aquaculture)