Bhubaneswar: The maritime state of Odisha, has gained importance as a major seafood exporter of the country as well in the last 3-4 years contributing significantly to the export basket. Seafood exports have emerged as one of the fastest growing and important segment of the total exports of Odisha.
It is the fourth important item of exports from Odisha and ranks istamong agricultural commodities. There is ample scope and opportunity to increase the marine products exports further from the state on account of the significant resource potential available for increasing production and thereof seafood export items. The total quantity of marine products exported from Odisha during 2014-15 was about 34,767 MT valued at Rs.2, 069 Crores. This shows a growth of 12.26% in quantity and 14% in value in comparison with previous year. During the year 2015-16 although the quantity of seafood exported was about 35,630 MT in volume, the value decreased to Rs 1,788 Crore due to various reasons.
Exports can be further enhanced by augmenting production through capture and culture fisheries and also by diversification of markets and adding value to the products. Aquaculture can be expanded through horizontally and vertically including diversification. There is ample scope for technological upgradation in fish production and processing.
The State government has notified a progressive Fisheries Policy (Fisheries Policy 2015), which is 1st of its kind in the country and envisages increase in production, productivity and exports besides addressing several other important measures on management and conservation of resources, ensuring livelihoods, nutritional security etc. The state also has an investor friendly Export Policy issued under MSME department and encourages entrepreneurs in setting up infrastructure for food processing and export units by availing the various incentives from Central and state government schemes including from that of Food Processing Ministry. Export is a priority sector among various promotional programmes of the Government.