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Odisha Signs Tripartite Agreement to Boost Climate-Resilient Aquaculture Practices

Bhubaneswar: A Tripartite Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed among Odisha Integrated Irrigation Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture (OIIPCRA), the Director of Fisheries Odisha, and WorldFish to support climate-resilient aquaculture practices in Odisha. The signing took place in the presence of Development Commissioner-cum-ACS, DoWR Anu Garg, Principal Secretary Fisheries and ARD Suresh Kumar Vashisth, and Principal Secretary A&FE Dr. Arabinda Kumar Padhee, at a program organized at the Department of Water Resources, in the 1st Floor Conference Hall of Rajiv Bhawan.

The MoA was signed by Director of Fisheries Odisha Smrutiranjan Pradhan, Director OIIPCRA Rashmiranjan Nayak, and WorldFish India Team Head Arun Padhiyar.

The Odisha Integrated Irrigation Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture (OIIPCRA) is being implemented in 15 districts of the state with the support of the World Bank through the Odisha Community Tank Development & Management Society (OCTDMS), a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) under DoWR. Its objective is to intensify and diversify agricultural production and enhance climate resilience under four components: climate-smart intensification and diversion of production, improving access to irrigation and water productivity, institutional capacity strengthening, and project management.

In addition to improving availability and irrigation through 538 tanks, the project focuses on cross-sectoral convergence of water, agriculture, horticulture, and fisheries sectors to benefit farmers through increased quality of irrigation service, average yields, marketable outputs, diversified incomes, and climate resilience.

Under the aquaculture production sub-component, the project promotes climate-resilient aquaculture practices in 263 Model Inland Fisheries Project (MIP) sites, aiming to increase the ability of small-scale farmers and promote species diversification through polyculture.

The project has facilitated capacity building of stakeholders to enhance knowledge on aquatic food production systems and strengthen community-based institutional architecture. It has also promoted intensive aquaculture through the adoption of new technologies, such as biofloc fish farming technology.

Other activities include the demonstration of freshwater prawn nurseries to produce quality prawn juveniles, providing small feed mixing and pelletizer plants to local community organizations for supplementary feeding by farmers using locally available fish feed, supplying water testing kits to farmers engaged in fish farming for water quality monitoring, and assisting fish farmers with drag nets for fish harvesting and strengthening post-harvest marketing infrastructure.

This MoA will support the implementation of various activities and induce good practices. It will assist in monitoring and evaluating programs and activities, including real-time tracking by integrating the Decision Support System of FARD with the OIIPCRA application. Additionally, it will involve conducting orientations, workshops, and exposure visits for stakeholders, preparing technical contents for various IEC materials, and conducting surveys and periodic project reports to assess project interventions.

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