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Fisheries Dept, OIIPCRA & WorldFish Join Forces in Tripartite Agreement to Bolster Climate Resilient Aquaculture

This tripartite agreement marks a significant step to support sustainable agriculture and enhance climate resilience in the state, fostering economic growth and benefiting farmers and local communities alike.

Shivam Dwivedi
Fisheries Dept, OIIPCRA & WorldFish Join Forces in Tripartite Agreement to Bolster Climate Resilient Aquaculture (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Fisheries Dept, OIIPCRA & WorldFish Join Forces in Tripartite Agreement to Bolster Climate Resilient Aquaculture (Photo Source: Pixabay)

In a significant move towards enhancing climate-resilient aquaculture practices, a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed between the Odisha Integrated Irrigation Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture (OIIPCRA), the Director of Fisheries, and WorldFish. The signing ceremony took place at the Department of Water Resources (DoWR) Conference Hall of Rajiv Bhawan, with several esteemed officials in attendance.

The MoA signing was witnessed by Anu Garg, Development Commissioner-cum-ACS of the DoWR, Suresh Kumar Vashisth, Principal Secretary of Fisheries and Animal Resources Development (ARD), and Dr. Arabinda Kumar Padhee, Principal Secretary of Agriculture and Farmers' Empowerment (A&FE). Signing on behalf of their respective organizations were Smrutiranjan Pradhan, Director of Fisheries, Odisha; Rashmiranjan Nayak, Director of OIIPCRA; and Arun Padhiyar, Team Head of WorldFish India.

The OIIPCRA, implemented across 15 districts in Odisha with support from the World Bank through the Odisha Community Tank Development & Management Society (OCTDMS), aims to intensify and diversify agricultural production while enhancing climate resilience. The project focuses on four key components: climate-smart intensification and diversification of production, improved access to irrigation and water productivity, institutional capacity strengthening, and project management.

Under this initiative, the project aims to improve irrigation availability by leveraging 538 tanks and fostering cross-sectoral convergence of water, agriculture, horticulture, and fisheries. The integration of these sectors will benefit farmers through improved irrigation services, increased average yields, marketable outputs, diversified incomes, and enhanced climate resilience.

In the fisheries sector, the project will specifically promote climate-resilient aquaculture practices in 263 Model Intervention Projects (MIPs) to enhance the abilities of small-scale farmers. It will also encourage species diversification through polyculture. The project has successfully contributed to capacity building among stakeholders, facilitating knowledge enhancement on aquatic food production systems. Furthermore, it has strengthened community-based institutional architecture and promoted intensive aquaculture by adopting innovative technologies like biofloc fish farming.

The project has enabled the establishment of freshwater prawn nurseries, empowering farmers and communities to produce high-quality prawn juveniles. Additionally, small feed mixing and pelletizer plants have been provided to local community organizations to promote supplementary feeding using locally available fish feed.

Water testing kits have been supplied to fish farmers engaged in MIP, individual tanks, and biofloc systems, enabling them to monitor water quality parameters and take adaptive measures to enhance fish production amidst changing climate conditions. Fish farmers have also received drag nets for efficient fish harvesting and three- and four-wheelers equipped with iceboxes to strengthen post-harvest marketing infrastructure.

The signing of this MoA will further support the implementation of various activities and the promotion of best practices. It will facilitate program monitoring and evaluation, including real-time tracking by integrating the Decision Support System of the Fisheries and Animal Resources Department (FARD) with the OIIPCRA application.

The agreement will also involve conducting orientations, workshops, and training sessions for stakeholders, preparing technical content for information, education, and communication (IEC) materials, and formulating scheme implementation guidelines. The project's aquaculture sub-component will undergo a comprehensive review involving all District Fisheries Officers (DFOs), block-level Assistant Fisheries Officers (AFOs), UNDP District Project Managers (DPMs), and other concerned officials.

Furthermore, the MoA will encompass the assessment of project interventions through crop outcome surveys and the preparation of periodic project reports. Saroj Kanta Das, Additional Project Director of OIIPCRA, along with other senior officers from OIIPCRA, A&FE, F&ARD, and the DoWR, graced the occasion with their presence.

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