A Tripartite agreement has been signed among Odisha Integrated Irrigation Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture (OIIPCRA), Director of Fisheries in Odisha and WorldFish to support climate-resilient aquaculture practices in the state.

The agreement was signed in the presence of Development Commissioner-cum-Additional Chief Secretary Anu Garg, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development department Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar Vashisth and Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment department Principal Secretary Arabinda Kumar Padhee during a programme organised at the Department of Water Resources at Rajiv Bhawan here today. Director of Fisheries in Odisha Smrutiranjan Pradhan, Director of OIIPCRA Rashmiranjan Nayak and WorldFish, India, Team Head Arun Padhiyar signed the agreement.

Odisha Integrated Irrigation Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture (OIIPCRA) is being implemented in 15 districts of the state through Odisha Community Tank Development & Management Society (OCTDMS with support from the World Bank. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) under the Department of Water Resources was constituted with the objective  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.

Besides improving availability and irrigation through 538 tanks, the project is taking up 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 among others.

In Fisheries sector, the activities are being taken up under the aquaculture production sub-component for promotion of climate-resilient aquaculture practices in 263 MIPs to increase the ability of small-scale farmers and promotion of species diversification through polyculture. This project has helped in Capacity building of stakeholders for enhancing knowledge on aquatic food production system and to strengthen community-based institutional architecture and promotion of intensive aquaculture through adoption of new technologies such as bio- floc fish farming technology.

Demonstration of freshwater prawn nurseries to produce quality prawn juveniles by farmers and the community has become possible where as small feed mixing and pelletizer plant to local community organizations to promote supplementary feeding by farmers using locally available fish feed has been provided. Also water testing kits to farmers engaged in fish farming in MIP, individual tanks, and bio-floc in order to monitor water quality parameters for adaptive measures to increase fish production in this climate changing scenario has been supplied.