Nutrition, Genetics and Biotechnology Division of Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture is the pioneer in Aquaculture Nutrition research in India. The focussed research programmes implemented by the division led to the development and commercialisation of several feed technologies in the country to benefit small and medium scale farmers. Feed being the major and critical input in aquaculture, considerable thrust has been given to feed development programmes. Feed for brackishwater species have undergone considerable changes over the past 25 years at this institute from the use of trash fish or live fish, to a simple pellet-pressed moist diet to a modern, high-nutrient dense pellet. The state of the art facilities available at the institute with the collaboration of private entrepreneur/corporate on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode has contributed substantially to sustainable brackishwater aquaculture. The Indigenous Shrimp Feed Technology for tiger shrimp has been developed by conducting series of feeding trials under controlled laboratory conditions followed by on-station and on-farm trials in farmer’s ponds. This technology was commercialised to M/S Bismi Feeds (P) Ltd. CIBA has also developed a low fish-meal shrimp feed to improve the cost effectiveness and sustainability. This led to the development of Organic Shrimp feed (Green Shrimp BT) and the CIBA feed mill has been certified to produce Organic feed. The significant contribution of the division is the development of cost-effective shrimp feed for Penaeus vannamei branded as vannamei Plus. The field demonstration in various multi-locational trials demonstrated the cost effectiveness of this feed and it has become the most sought after feed. This technology was commercialised in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat and West Bengal on a non-exclusive basis. CIBA also has developed the cost effective feed for Asian Seabass, grow-out culture, Seabass Plus.
CIBA possesses the state-of-art facilities to prepare different grades of sinking and floating pellets. Larval feeds (100 µ to 500 µ) and broodstock feeds for both Shrimp and Finfish have been developed. The modern feed processing machineries like ultra-fine grinder, Ring die pelletizer, Extruder, Spheronizer, vaccum coater and Spray dryer are effectively utilised to prepare the larval, broodstock and functional feeds. The Division is having a fully equipped analytical and quality control laboratory with facilities for analysis of major and minor nutrients. A modern wet laboratory to carry out feeding experiments in different life stages of shrimp and fish is the additional forte to this division. A micro algal laboratory for screening, isolation, identification and culture of different microalgae is the recent addition to the list.
The division is mandated to develop cost-effective environmentally sustainable feeds for all the brackishwater candidate species, and also to develop functional feeds for broodstock, larvae and specialty feeds to address the niche markets.
Genetics & Biotechnology Section
Since inception in 2004, the Genetics and Biotechnology Section of the division focuses on genetic characterization of candidate aquaculture species, development and utility of markers and genes for improving economic traits. This division has scientists belonging to different relevant disciplines of Genetics, Biotechnology and Aquaculture. The GBS has well established laboratory facilities and expertise for carrying out cutting edge research in the niche areas of molecular biology and genetics to conduct genetic improvement programs in fish and shrimp species. Recent developments in biotechnology and information technology have paved the way for deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in physiology, reproduction and diseases. Further, basic understanding in molecular mechanisms in physiology will help in technological interventions in reproductive biology and culture practices. The unit has documented information on expression of genes that is useful for comprehending shrimp response to biotic and abiotic stresses and also those that help in inducing breeding in shrimp. In collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fishery and Aquaculture (NOFIMA), Norway, the section has constructed for the first time, a SNP-based linkage map and a DNA chip containing SNPs useful for genome-wide association studies in tiger shrimp. The section is well-equipped with hardware necessary for conducting bioinformatics analyses with high-through put data and is gradually building up the expertise in the field.
Partnership and linkages
GBS has developed advanced research facilities over the years with funding support from ICAR, National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP), Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Consortia Research Platform on Genomics. Several International collaborations have been developed under the externally funded projects in UK with University of Southampton, University of Aberdeen, Swansea University, University of St. Andrews, University of Liverpool and Bangladesh Agricultural University, Bangladesh. There was also a collaboration between this institute, NBFGR and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL), Singapore on the genetic characterisation of Asian seabass Lates calcarifer. At the National level, research collaborations have been undertaken with IIT, University of Madras and Anna University, Chennai. Efforts are on to have research collaboration with the Tamil Nadu Dr. J. Jayalalitha Fisheries University at Nagapattinam.
The GBS is mandated to carry out research on
- Genetics and Breeding in aquatic animals aiming at genetic improvement
- unravelling host pathogen interaction at the molecular level
- Genomics and transcriptomics
The nutrition section of ICAR- Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture has developed the following viable cost effective feed technologies for brackishwater aquaculture. Feed being a critical input in aquaculture, Aquafeed formulation and manufacturing become complex when we consider the economics, environmental sustainability, nutritional adequacy and constrains in feed manufacturing and storage. Thus, the way in which feed ingredients are carefully chosen, processed, mixed, and prepared is controlled by many elements, and compromise between the ideal and the practical is a necessary for successful production of compounded aquafeed.
1.Compressed dry pellet feed processing technology with indigenous machineries
Earlier in 90’s Indian shrimp farming sector was completely dependent on imported feeds. No single public or private entity was having the technology to manufacture pelleted sinking feed for shrimp and other fishes. Visualizing this as a critical obstacle, ICAR-CIBA developed, tested and commercialized an indigenous feed manufacturing technology in India. This kind of pelleting technology is useful in making feeds for shrimp, crab, grow-out and brood fishes.
Highlights of the expertise/technology:
- Compressed pelleted feed using ring die pelletizers
- Indigenous machineries.
- Technology package involves, establishing the feed mill, formulation, periodical assessment of the formula, process of feed manufacturing, and evaluation of processed feed.
- Uses low cost locally available ingredients.
- Cost effective customizable formulation.
- Optimization of the processing needs vis-à-vis nutrient requirements.
- For all the life stages of shrimps, crabs and fishes in different particle sizes.
- Extensively field testing and demonstration.
Impact of the technology:
- Before 2000, only 6 feed companies existed in India with overseas technology. Presently there are more than 25 organised shrimp feed mills and 15 small feed mills.
- The CIBA technology very much served as a benchmark for pricing as well as to compare the performance of the other commercial feeds evolving in the Indian market.
- To cater the fishmeal demand for shrimp feeds, hi-tech fishmeal plants has increased from 12 numbers in 2008 to > 40 numbers in 2015 with total production capacity of 1.2 lakh tones worth Rs. 1000 crores. They convert low value fish and fish trimmings in to a valuable fishmeal, which otherwise used as fertilizer.
2. Extruded floating and slow sinking feed processing technology
Cooking extrusion is the most recent development in pelleted ﬁsh feed manufacture. In this process a set of mixed ingredients are forced through an opening in a perforated plate or die with a design specific to the food, and is then cut to a specified size by swiftly rotating blades. The extruder machine functions by increasing the temperature of the feed mixture to 125–150oC in a pressurized conditioning chamber and increasing the moisture by more than 20%. Extruded pellets are relatively porous and can soak up sprayed oil to reach levels of over 20%, typical of feed for both brood and grow-out feeds of Mullet, Milkfish and Seabass.
Highlights of the expertise/technology:
- Technology package involves, establishing the feed mill, formulation, periodical auditing of the formula, process of feed manufacturing, and evaluation of processed feed.
- Uses low cost locally available ingredients, mostly of starch rich plant ingredients
- Cost effective customizable formulation. Plant by-products such as oil meal, brans, algal meals, cereal grains, fodder leaves, grasses can be used as feed ingredient.
- Better digestibility and optimum in meeting the processing needs of brood fishes and crab.
- Different particle sizes ranging from 1 mm to 10 mm.
- Completing floating pellet and slow sinking pellets can produced by altering buoyancy of the feed particle and can be achieved by making critical changes in the formulae and processing methods.
- In feed management, feed consumption can be easily monitored with floating extruded pellets, which is not possible with sinking pellets.
- Extensively field testing and demonstration
3. Larval feed processing technology involving spray drying, extrusion cooking, spheronization and freeze drying
CIBA is involved in development of seed and feed for diversified brackishwater aquaculture species, and has developed captive breeding of several finfish and shellfish of different trophic nature. Optimum nutrition is the key driver to maximise the reproductive performance and seed yield. Larval feeds are specialty feeds, which is one of the vital elements for a successful hatchery operation. At present 100% of the larval feeds used in Indian shrimp hatcheries are imported, and are very expensive. Visualizing the demand for the larval feeds, CIBA has developed feeds for different larval stages. Micro-bound and micro-particulate feeds of different particle sizes (300 to 800 micron) were prepared. Advanced micro bound and micro particulate larval feeds for shrimp larvae produced with the state of the art facilities such as spray drying, extrusion cooking, spheronization and freeze drying available at CIBA’s larval feed production unit.
Highlights of the larval feed technology:
- Indigenous technology using locally available premium ingredients.
- Available in suitable particle size to meet the requirement of different post larval stages of shrimp.
- Less nutrient loss during feed processing.
- Highly palatable and attractable to the larvae.
- Good water stability and buoyancy.
- Available as 300µ, 500µ and 800µ micro bound feeds.
- Available as customized micro particulate diets in the range of 150-250µ, 250-350µ, 350-500µ, 500-700µ and 700-900µ.
- Useful in cost effective larval rearing.
- Widely tested with larval forms of fish and shrimp in laboratory and commercial hatcheries .
Demonstration of Vacuum coater to the RAC team
4. Farm made feed processing technology
As a next step after success in captive breeding of brackishwater finfishes CIBA is promoting farming of finfishes as alternate for shrimp. Feed is the critical input which directly determines the growth performance of the farmed candidate and profitability of the aquaculture. India being agriculture based economy and resources, there are plenty of region specific agriculture and animal by-products available for potential use in feed formulation. ICAR-CIBA conceived a concept called farm made feed technology to produce on site low cost feeds for farmed brackishwater fishes.
Highlights of this farm made feed technology:
- Machineries are simple and small in size which can be owned by an individual farmer or self-help group.
- The farmer / Self Help Group member is having a own land where industrial type of shed (Approximately 400 sq.ft.) can be constructed using cost effective materials prevailing in that area to install the FMF machineries. Easy to be operated by a farmer themselves.
- Needs less power and space.
- Can be installed in the farm site itself.
- Easy maintenance with minimal resources and expertise.
- About 200 kg can be produced /day with an approximate production of 5 tons/ month.
- Farm made feed can be made in to different sizes from 2mm to 6mm according to the specific requirement.
Products developed: Cost effective indigenous feeds for brackishwater Aquaculture
1. Indigenous cost effective vannamei shrimp feed: VanamiPlus
Size of the Indian shrimp feed industry is 6.25 lakh tonnes worth Rs 4600 crores in year 2016. Increasing shrimp feed price is a major challenge facing Indian shrimp farming. ICAR-CIBA took strategic effort and developed a cost effective feed, VanamiPlus in identifying the untapped feed resources across the country and organized balanced shrimp feed formulas using those resources considering the optimum nutrient requirements of the shrimp and feed processing needs.
Features of the technology: VanamiPlus
- Scientifically formulated quality feed for vannamei (35% Protein & 6% Fat).
- Formula cost of Rs. 55-65.
- Increase the profit margin for farmers by 15-20%.
- Tested and evaluated extensively in farmer’s pond.
- FCR of 1.2-1.5.
- Eco friendly feed with better soil and water quality.
- Customizable technology for small, medium and large scale operations .
- Suitable for corporate entrepreneurs, farmer clusters and co-operative societies.
- Capital investment for the feed production unit in Indian Rupees 50 – 150 Lakhs based on the infrastructure and production target.
Impacts of the VanamiPlus:
- Currently, the installed capacity of feed processing plants is 10,000 tonnes/ annum which can cover the farming area of 1500 ha.
- VanamiPlus taken up by the clients is serving as benchmark for pricing as well as to compare the performance of the other commercial feeds evolving in the sector.
- Worth of feed produced Rs 65 crores/annum.
- About 900 people are directly employed and 1500 people are indirectly employed.
- Trickle-down effect is expected benefit the farmers around 1500 Cr/annum by saving the cost of production @10%.
2. Organic Shrimp feed:
Organic concept has been widely adopted in aquaculture, and critical input is the organic certified feed. Organic feed production is the holistic method of feed
production following the organic principles. In country like India it has lot of scope, where major portion of farmed shrimp is exported. There is a huge demand for organically farmed premium shrimp in American and Japanese market.
Highlights of the product developed:
- Sourcing of organic certified feed ingredients including the fish meal
- Formulation the feed following the organic principles mainly, the use of organic feed ingredients and strictly adhering to the limits in certain ingredients especially, fishmeal.
- Auditing the feed processing and strictly adhere to the organic guidelines.
Process of the product Development:
- CIBA entered into a MoU with M/S Jass Ventures Pvt. Limited, Anamika, S-17, Shanthi Nagar, Thiruppunithura, Ernakulam, Kerala for a collaborative R & D project on demonstration of organic feed using CIBA shrimp feed technology and organic farming technology for Penaeus monodon.
- The organic feed has been produced at the CIBA feed mill, which is certified for processing and production of organic shrimp feed by the certifying body, INDOCERT, Kerala in 2013.
Demonstration and Validation of the technology:
- The organic shrimp feed comprising of different grades, viz., Pre-starter, Starter, Grower and Finisher, were tested by M/S. Jass Ventures Private Limited in Ernakulum, Alleppey and Trissur districts of Kerala, with 25 farmers having the total farm area of about 50 hectares.
- Organically produced shrimp were sold in the international market for a premium price.
3. EtroBroodPlus – Functional broodstock feed for pearlspot to yield higher fry production under captive conditions
Termination of parental care was a key element in inducing the pearlspot for multiple spawning. Repeated spawning by same pair needs adequate functional nutrition to yield higher number healthy fry. Considering the nutritional requirements of pearlspot, ICAR- CIBA developed, a functional feed “EtroBroodPlus” for sustaining the higher fry yield.
Highlights of the EtroBroodPlus:
- The brood stock feed (EtroBroodPlus) has been tested in compact modular green water tank systems suitable for homestead hatchery.
- It has been optimised that dietary lipid of >12% is required to sustain repeated natural spawning with higher fry yield.
- Fry yield per spawning across the breeding trial ranged between 1380 and 4115 (average >2200) with a relative fry yield between 4.6 and 15.4 per g of female body weight.
- In few spawning, pairs laid > 4000 eggs, which is the highest known recorded fecundity with this cichlid fish in single spawning.
- We got eight repeated spawning by a pair as maximum repeated spawning in a year, with an average of >4 repeated spawning/pair/annum.
- The average inter-spawning duration ranged between 37.3 ± 6.8 and 40.1 ± 7.5 days. The cost of this speciality functional feed is around Rs. 110/kg.
- We for the first time demonstrated that green water, single pair mating, brood stock feed and termination of parental care were synergistic in realizing the maximum reproductive potential of pearlspot fish.
Pearlspot Feed demonstration in Kerala:
4. SeebassPlus –A feed for growout culture of seabass
Asian sea bass is a high value, fast growing food fish, which is highly carnivorous and predatory in nature. ICAR-CIBA identified sea bass as a candidate fish for farming in brackishwater for diversification of farming. Feeding such a carnivore sea bass is challenging in its farming, in terms of feed acceptance as well as feed cost. As outcome of continuous research, CIBA developed a cost effective feed for sea bass and branded it as “SeebassPlus”.
- Scientifically formulated balanced formula for seabass.
- Produced by extrusion feed processing.
- Has added fat up to 15%, which was achieved by vacuum coating technology.
- Feed with good attractability and palatability.
- Cost effective feed prepared using indigenous ingredients.
- Nominal cost of feed – Rs. 75-85 per kg depending on the fat content.
- Extensively field tested with FCR of 1.4-1.8 in grow-out phase.
- Available as
- Extruded floating feed.
- Extruded slow sinking feed.
- Suitable for rearing sea bass in ponds and cages.
- Grow-out feeds available from 1.8 to 8.0 mm pellets.
5. Milkfish Brood Plus – A feed for Milkfish broodstock
Milk is a fast-growing herbivorous finfish suitable for farming in brackishwater ponds. Spawning adults will be 5 to 15 kg and need quality broodstock feed for realizing the maximum reproductive potential under captive conditions. Considering its feeding biology, it needs a specialty feed with unique formula to meet its reproductively important fatty acids and micro nutrients. Considering this chalenges and significance, CIBA developed a broodstock feed and tested with our own milkfish breeding program, which got a success in breeding milkfish in 2015 for first time in this country. The specialty feed for milkfish broodstock has been branded as Milkfish BroodPlus.
Features of Milkfish BroodPlus:
- Feed processed by extrusion technology
- Floating/Slow sinking feed
- Feed size – 6 – 8 mm
- Formulated to have premium ingredients, both plant and animal origin
- Enriched with spirulina, astazanthin and extra micro minerals
- Highly palatable for milkfish and easily digestible
6. Seebass NurseryPlus – A feed for nursery culture of seabass
Seabass larvae and juveniles are highly cannibalistic in the absence of suitable feeds, therefore apt feed and proper weaning are key elements in viable seed production of seabass. In this setting, CIBA developed micro bound nurserry feeds for seabass using extrusion cooking. Feeds were formulated to contain 55% crude protein and 15% li
pid, using premium ingredients of high digestibility and nutritive value.
Features of Seebass NurseryPlus:
- The larval feeds were tested in Auro maritech hatchery facility.
- The results revealed that the feed have better attractability and palatability in seabass larvae of different stages with respective particle sizes.
- The survival of the seabass fry from 25 DPH to 45 DPH ranged from 72-86%.
- Feasibility analysis for scaling up of the technology is in progress with participation of Auro maritech hatchery for large-scale production of seabass nursery feeds.
7. Milkfish NurseryPlus – A nursery feed for intensive nursery rearing of Milkfish
For the first time in this country, artificial breeding of milkfish under captive conditions was achieved on 2015, at our Muttukkadu fish hatchery. Getting appropriated size milkfish seed is a bottleneck in large scale farming of its large scale farming. Larval and nursery rearing with suitable feed and rearing system is the next critical step, to scale up seed production and commercialize the milkfish production. We developed micro particulate dry feeds and feeding strategy for mass rearing of milkfish fry in outdoor green water system. Micro particulate larval feeds were formulated and prepared by cold extrusion and spheronization to contain 42% protein and 8% lipid.
8. MilkfishPlus –A grow out feed for Milkfish
Milkfish is a fast-growing herbivorous finfish suitable for farming in brackishwater ponds. To back up its rapid growth in brackishwater ponds and ensure profits to the farmer, a cost-effective feed is mandatory. In this angle, CIBA developed a cost-effective feed wit locally available feed ingredient, mostly of plant ingredients. The feed was extensively tested in farmers ponds for growth performance and economics. This feed technology is ready for commercialization.
Highlights of the MilkfishPlus:
- Scientifically formulated to contain mostly of plant ingredients.
- Feed are processed by extrusion cooking and floating in nature.
- Cost effective.
- Particle size range from 1mm to 6 mm for different life stages.
9. PolyPlus – A grow out feed for polyculture of fish and shrimp
ICAR-CIBA promotes polyculture of brackishwater species to have better utilization of resources. At present farmers practise the polyfarming in tide fed ponds. They normally do not use any feed. However, few farmers use mash feed (mixture of mustard oil cake and rice bran). Availability of low cost pellet feed is a bottle neck to harness the growth potential of brackishwater polyfarming. Considering this situation, the ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIBA) -initiated development of low cost feed for multispecies culture using locally available ingredients as partial replacement of the most expensive feed ingredient, fish meal.
Features of PolyPlus:
- Uses wide range conventional and non-conventional feed ingredients such as rice bran, mustard cake, ground nut cake, sunflower cake, wheat flour, maize flour. mung husk, khesari husk, pea pod husk, sesame cake, deoiled karanja cake, mango seed kernel, tamarind seed powder, azolla, duck weed, mangrove leaves, Moringa olifera leaf, subabool leaf, acacia pod etc.
- Feed was extensively tested both in our own farms and in famers ponds with successful results.
- Field testing of PolyPlus at farmer’s pond in polyculture system with Mugil cephalus, Liza tade, Liza parsia, Scatophagus argus, Mystus gulio and Penaeus monodon at different stocking densities yielded productivity of 3141 to 4764 kg/ha with FCR of 1.32 after 325 days of culture.
- The technology has been transferred to private entrepreneurs for up scaling and commercial production on a non-exclusive basis. ICAR-CIBA entered into a MoU for the PolyPlus with M/s. NRG Feeds, Joyrampur, P.O.-Dihi-Baira, Arambagh, Hooghly,West Bengal.
10. Shrimp LarviPlus A functional feed for Shrimp post larvae
Functional feeds are formulated to have different biologically active compounds that can provide specific benefits to the farmed shrimp, in addition to just nutritional. The ingredients with such known functional properties are called functional ingredients. Functional feeds may be targeted for to any specific function related to reproduction, larval development, physiology, immunity and gut health. Larval feeds are specialty feeds, which is one of the vital elements for a successful hatchery operation. At present 100% of the larval feeds used in Indian shrimp hatcheries are imported, and are very expensive. Visualizing the demand for the larval feeds, CIBA has developed feeds for different larval stages.
Highlights of Shrimp LarviPlus:
- Micro-bound and micro-particulate feeds of different particle sizes (300 to 800 micron) were prepared to contain 55% crude protein and 12% lipid, using premium ingredients enriched with EPA and DHA.
- The feeds were evaluated in commercial hatcheries, who have signed MoU with CIBA under public private partnership (PPP) mode.
- Feedback from the hatchery operators witnessed that Shrimp LarviPlus has good palatability and attract ability. In addition, water quality of the larval rearing tanks also was stable and well maintained while using this feeds, which could be attributed to the good water stability factor of the feeds.
- Survival of PL was > 60% after 12 days of age. For the first time in this country CIBA has developed, an indigenous functional shrimp larval feed which could be a cost effective alternate for imported feeds.
11. CyllaPlus-– A grow out feed for the Mud crab
Mud crab is an high value seafood commodity farmed in brackishwaters. Both farming and fattening of crab still mostly depend on conventional unsustainable feeds such as trash fish, bivalve meat and other meaty foods, and sourcing of these foods is always a constrain. CIBA developed two different types of feeds for crab, one each for grow-out (Cylla GPlus) and fattening (Cylla FPlus) using indigenous ingredients to contain 35% protein and 5.6% fat.
Features of crab feed:
- Feed was processed as 2 to 6 mm sinking pellets.
- Widely tested with button crabs reared in ponds, cages and soft crabs reared in small sea cages installed by a farmer at Tamil Nadu Andhra Pradesh.
- Feed was offered at 5% of the body weight and in a specially designed feeding trays which were placed inside the cages.
- Regular monitoring of the crab behaviour and the feeding trays evidenced that feeds had been very well accepted by the crabs.
- Highly cost effective and sustainable option for crab farming both in extensive farming in ponds, cages and in RAS.
12.HilsaPlus-– A grow out feed for Hilsa (Tenualosa ilisha)
Tenualosa ilisha, commonly known as Hilsa, has been one of the most important fish species in south Asia in general and West Bengal in particular. Although captive breeding has been attempted since 1900, the successful closing of the life cycle has been still enigmatic. Captive spawning of hilsa using wild caught broodstock was standardized and embryonic developmental stages of fertilized egg were studied under microscope at different hours of incubation in Kakdwip Research Centre of ICAR-CIBA. Further, Nutrient requirement of hilsa fry were established through indoor trial. Considering the protein, lipid and amino acid requirement, formulated feed (Hilsaplus) with 35 % protein and 12 % lipid has been developed for hilsa grow-out culture. Wild caught hilsa seeds attained 350-425 g after two and half years of culture with formulated feed, Hilsaplus in brackish water ponds.
Features of Hilsa Plus:
- Floating and slow sinking extruded feed (2mm and 3 mm) containing 35% protein and 12 % lipid developed using twin screw extruder.
- This is the first formulated feed developed for hilsa.
- Acceptability of feed was found to be very good.
- The feed has been developed using locally available ingredients.
- Feed was extensively tested both in brackishwater as well as fresh water ponds.
- Hilsa fry performed better in terms of weight gain, growth rate and nutrient utilization efficiency when offered with 25% live Feed and 75 % formulated Feed in their diet.
- Hilsa attained average growth of 383.80±27.38 g /339.33±9.68 mm from initial body weight/length of 1.37±0.18 g / 52.97±5.50 mm in brackishwater pond system using Hilsa Plus after 30 months culture.
13.Design and development of low cost indigenous solar powered automatic feeder for L. vannamei
The major component of scientific shrimp farming is to provide pelleted feeds at right quantity at right time according to the requirement. With the introduction of P. vannamei culture since 2009, automatic feeders have become a necessity as more stocking density is being adopted. Automatic feeders are more suitable for P. vannamei culture due to its feeding behaviour as it is a column dweller and it needs continuous feeding. Entrepreneur farmers have imported automatic feeders and it is costly. These prompted to design and develop a low cost feeder for the use for small farmers.
Development of the automatic feeder / solar powered automatic feeder:
- A prototype pneumatic powered pellet feeder and electromagnetic operated feeder for wet laboratory and hatchery use has been designed and developed and exhaustive performance evaluation trials helped to refine the design with respect to distribution.
- Up scaled version of automatic feeder design consist of four major components, a feed hopper made of PVC drum of capacity 125kg, a 0.35hp series motor for feed distribution an electrical power supply and a control unit of two timers for operating (frequency and time of distribution).
- The feed hopper bottom is tapered such that the angle of repose is 450 for easy and efficient dispensing of the shrimp feeds and it is arrived at after detailed study of engineering properties of different sizes of shrimp feed viz., bulk density, moisture content, coefficient of friction, etc.
- The distribution system was 4 alternate pipes of different length (100mm,150mm) and diameter (15, 20,25mm) and it was then remodified for more controlled distribution with three pipes of uniform length (175mm) and diameter (20mm) with a 300 inclination towards upward direction for wider dispersion.It is powered by the motor of 0.5hp series motor with an rpm of 2800. Adjustment has been made for variable speed to effect uniform dispersion.
- Solar panels were introduced with both AC motor and DC motor to suit the site requirement.
- Multi -location trials were conducted successfully at Marakannam , Srikali, Cuddalore in Tamilnadu.
Principal Scientist & Head
Phone : +91- 044 – 24618817, Ext – 411
Nutrition: Animal/Fish Nutrition
Genetics and Biotechnology:
Biotechnology (Animal Sciences)
Animal/Fish Genetics & Breeding