Strategic alliance for promotion of brackishwater aquaculture
India is a major shrimp producer, shrimps are alone contributing over 60% of seafood exports of the country. India’s shrimp exports are likely to double to US$ 7 billion by 2022, driven by strong demand, high quality, improved product mix and an increase in the aquaculture area in our coastal states. The need of the hour is to prepare ourselves for it, both quality and quantity-wise. In farmed shrimp production, the feed is a major recurring cost, which often ranges from 50 to 60 % of the total cost of production and it directly determines the profitability and sustainability. Brackishwater aquaculture is one of the vibrant farming sectors, and ICAR-CIBA’s research findings have direct applications in the field.
ICAR-Central Institute Brackishwater Aquaculture, Chennai has inked a strategic partnership with the Waterbase Ltd., a pioneering aquaculture feed manufacturing company today to upscale the transfer of eco-friendly feed technologies from the “lab to the field” in a large scale where the social benefit is measurable.
The CIBA-WATERBASE strategic alliance will cover the technical collaboration and partnership in the development of ecofriendly shrimp feed, CIBA VanamiEcoplus, exchange of information on feed formulations involving macro and micro-nutritional parameters, feed processing, and testing of identified feed ingredients and finished feeds. CIBA will advise on the specific changes in feed ingredients, inclusion level, feed standards, additives, processing technology to achieve the desired performance.
CIBA’s focused research on nutrient requirements of shrimp for more than a decade, expertise in scientiﬁc feed formulation and a database on the price and seasonality of locally available ingredients will help us develop eco-friendly, and cost-effective shrimp feeds using advanced indigenous feed processing technology. CIBA will provide its expertise in testing the quality of the finished feeds in experimental ponds of CIBA, the Waterbase farm facility and farmers’ ponds, and subsequently to the shrimp farming sector.
Fish Farming Revolution in Pizhala Island Village
A tiny island village in Kerala's scenic backwaters is in the limelight for ushering in a fish farming revolution.
Around 100 farmers took part in as many as 60 cage farming enterprises under the guidance of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in Pizhala Island in Kadamakkudi Panchayat.
The farmers, including women's groups in Pizhala island near Kochi, yielded a mega harvest of pearl spot, seabass and tilapia in cage culture.
CMFRI official said, "During the harvest done prior to Christmas, the farmers got seabass with an average weight of 3.5 kg and pearl spot weighing 250 grams."
He said CMFRI's Mariculture Division gave training and technical guidance to farmers at various stages, from the stocking period to the harvest, to make the enterprise a grand success.
Dr Imelda Joseph, Head of the Mariculture Division coordinated the cage fish farming in the area.
"The cage farming has been proved less expensive and economically viable," said Dr A Gopalakrishan,CMFRI Director.
"An amount of only Rs 100 is required to produce a kg of pear spot by using cage farming method.But the farmer will get Rs 500 to 600 for a kg of live pearl spot farmed in cages", he said.
Gopalakrishnan said the fish farming revolution in Pizhala Island is a good sign that CMFRI's research output is reaching the common public.
Fish Farming Help to Achieve High Income
At the College of Fisheries, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), a five-day training programme on fish farming was conducted. The programme was attended by unemployed youth, farmers and as well as entrepreneurs belonging to non-farming community from Bathinda, Ferozepur, Ludhiana, Mansa and Jalandhar.
To the trainees, technological inputs for scientific farming of different species such as prawns/shrimps, carps, Azolla, catfish and ornamental fish was provided at the programme.
Lectures were also delivered on on-going promotional schemes of the government for financial assistance to fish farmers, extension/utility services provided by GADVASU and role of media in marketing.
For diversification for farming community, fish farming was a lucrative enterprise. Experts said that, as compared to agriculture and livestock farming systems, fish farming helped achieve higher earnings per unit land holding and required less labour.