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  • Q. Please tell us about the latest innovative research projects spearheaded by CIFA to improve Freshwater Aquaculture?

    A. ICAR-CIFA is mandated to do research work to increase the production and productivity from freshwater aquaculture systems. We have developed breeding and culture technologies for nearly two dozen indigenous cultivable freshwater fishes like carps and barbs, catfishes, murrel, anabas, freshwater prawn etc. ‘Jayanti rohu’ the first genetically improved and fast growing fish breed in India was developed by CIFA in collaboration with Norway. Now we have also developed a fast growing breed of freshwater prawn and catla. In addition to food fish species we are also working on breeding and culture of indigenous ornamental species and freshwater pearl culture techniques. We have come out with Several low cost feed formulations for different life stages of several species like CIFABROOD, carp fry feed, carp grower. We have also brought out several formulations for effective control of several diseases including CIFAX and working towards development of newer molecular-based, specific, sensitive and farmer-friendly disease diagnostics for various diseases.
  • Q. How is R&D helping in accelerating use of modern culture systems for freshwater fish farming?

    A. Recently we have established a RAS system for captive broodstock development and fry production of murrels (Channa striata) and we are working to develop Biofloc technology for indigenous freshwater species. Now we are focusing to develop alternative systems for freshwater aquaculture system that are climate resileient, water and energy efficient.
  • Q. What do you think are the major challenges faced by Indian Freshwater Aquaculture sector? (various stakeholders including scientific fraternity & farmers)

    A. The most important challenge facing freshwater aquaculture is depleting freshwater resources and competition for freshwater from other sectors like agriculture and industry. Frequent occurrence of high intensity natural disasters like cyclones, heavy flood and drought due to climate change also is another major concern. Other challenges are poor fish seed quality, lack of awareness about new technologies and lack of cold chain and other infrastructures.
  • Q. Is there any scope for public private partnership (industry-leading govt institute collaboration) to increase the growth of Freshwater Aquaculture?

    A. There is huge scope for public private partnership (industry-leading govt institute collaboration) to increase the growth of Freshwater Aquaculture, but currently industry is not very keen to partner with research institutions. More than 80% of farmers in freshwater aquaculture sector is small and marginal with very limited resources for investing in scientific aquaculture.
  • Q. How is CIFA ensuring that knowledge of best theoretical and practical aspects of freshwater aquaculture is imparted to students?

    A. CIFA conducts several technology transfer training programmes for the benefit of all stakeholders. We do conduct in plant training of fishery under graduate students from different fisheries colleges across India. This in plant training gives the students exposure to latest research activities of the institute. In addition a large number of students from various colleges visit CIFA fish farm and interact with scientists.
  • Q. How has the COVID-19 crisis including lock down and suspension of breeding affected the fishing industry and small-scale fishermen? What are your suggestions on the kind of measures to be followed in the post lockdown era?

    A. There certainly has been a lot of adverse impact of lockdown due to COVID -19 on aquaculture sector. The hindrance in movement of raw materials to the feed plants, in turn resulted in less supply of feed. Feed dealers informed that they are not getting sufficient supply from the feed plants. Farmers reported that they have marketable size fish stocks, the present average size of fish is 1kg to 1.25 kg Rohu and 2 kg Catla. But they have limited feed stocks, can be able to manage up to one week or maximum 10 days more. On the marketing part, fish hatchery operators couldn’t get any new orders for the fish seeds. For the existing orders also, they are facing difficulties in arranging the transportation arrangements. Andhra Pradesh farmers used to export fish to Odisha, West Bengal and many northern states of the country, due to this situation, the demand of the table size fish has fallen sharply. Presently the farm gate price is ranging about Rs 100 to 107 per kg.
  • Q. How do you look at future of Indian fish farming industry?

    A. India is the second largest fish producing country with a production of 13.75 million tonnes during 2018-19. The aquaculture production is to the tune of 7 million tonnes. The future of Indian fish farming is bright considering the huge natural resources we have in the form of ponds and tanks, reservoirs, canals, beels, jheels and oxbow lakes etc. The technologies already developed and standardized for increasing fish production if disseminated to the fish farmers across country, then the average fish production can increase from the present level of 3tonne/ha to 6 tonnes /ha. The present govt is giving a lot of importance to fisheries sector and a separate ministry is there now. The new scheme of PMMSY is expected to play a crucial role in providing support to state government and fish farmers in undertaking new methods of farming besides strengthening the infrastructure.
By Karuna Dhoundiyal

Policies are responsible for poverty of farmers, India: Anil Ghanwat

27 Aug 2020

Mr Anil Ghanwat
President, Shetkari Sanghatana

Name : Mr Anil Ghanwat

Designation : President, Shetkari Sanghatana

Name : Dr Bindu R. Pillai

Designation : Acting Director and Head, Aquaculture Production and Environment Division, ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture

Name : Dr O.P. Yadav

Designation : Director, ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur

Name : Ravishankar C.N.

Designation : Director, Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (ICAR-CIFT)

Name : Shubh Swain

Designation : Asst Director, Tata Cornell Institute, TARINA



19 Dec 2021

One Size Fits All Will Not Work, Indian Agriculture Needs Decentralised Farm Reforms

There is consensus that Indian agriculture is in desperate need of reforms. These reforms are necessary for farm incomes to rise. If farmers in Malwa (Madhya Pradesh) or Doaba (Punjab) region have a speci