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Secretary Fisheries, Dr. Rajeev Ranjan, unravel Govt of India plans for fisheries and aquaculture development, inaugurating the ICAR-CIBA Digital Conference on ‘New-age technologies for sustainable brackishwater aquaculture’ held on 18th July 2020

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On the occasion of ICAR foundation day, the Institute Technology Management and Agricultural Business Incubator Unit of ICAR-CIBA conducted a Ciba Digital Conference (CDC-2) on Saturday, 18 July 2020. National and international policy makers, scientist and the professional shared their experience and vision forward at the conference with a focus on the role of ‘emerging and novel technologies in the Brackishwater aquaculture front’. Conference through its focus on the start-ups ecosystem in the brackishwater sector, discussed the opportunities on a  ‘think globally and act locally’ mode. 

Inaugurating the conference, Dr. Rajeev Ranjan, IAS, Secretory of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Govt. of India, impressed upon the immense potential of the Indian aquaculture sector, especially the brackishwater aquaculture sector.  He pointed out that, aquaculture is one of the technology-driven sectors, where technologies  are adopted at a faster rate on a global scale with new technologies developed elsewhere in the world. Secretary cited the Indian aquaculture sector is at the forefront as a global leader, through its significant contribution in terms of export income, nutritional security, employment generation, economic profitability, and new opportunities for innovative enterprises. The government of India wanted to drive the sectoral growth through the recently declared project ‘Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)’, with  a comprehensive reach to all components of the sector, where the  promotion of start-ups and technology development ecosystem has a special thrust. Secretary sought the  participation of CIBA in  providing the required technological backstopping, handholding the startups, to play an important role in taking forward the dynamic sector of brackishwater aquaculture. He also pointed out emphasis and continuity of the  Blue Revolution  through the recently launched PMMSY which aims to enhance fish production to 220 lakh metric tons with an investment of over Rs.20,050 crores in next five years promoting sustainable development of fisheries sector in India.

He stressed the need for diversification of species in the farming basket and specifically mentioned about having the stock improvement programme on the native Indian white shrimp to avoid over dependence on vannamei. He suggested CIBA to play a leadership  role in technology dissemination to develop state-wise plans, for brackishwater aquaculture and appreciated novel initiatives of CIBA, in species diversification, promotion of desi formulated feed  technologies, aquatic animal health products etc.

Earlier, Dr.K.K.Vijayan, Director, ICAR-CIBA, Chennai in the opening remarks highlighted Research and development role of CIBA, and the impact of novel technologies developed by CIBA, in the species diversification, feed biotechnology, health management and genomics front.  He stressed the need of partnership between the governments, research institutions, private sector and the farming communities, on a Public Private Partnership mode. He highlighted the need of credit and insurance support for the small and medium farmers.   

Dr. Farshad Shishehchian, Group President & CEO, Blue Aqua Group, Singapore presented on new generation cutting edge technologies presently operated in Singapore’s shrimp farming systems. He outlined the development of multi species super intensive zero waste smart farms.  He briefly explained about the mesotrophic system which uses the inputs in more effective manner which can be adopted to Indian farming conditions. These technologies will have be greater value in the government of India proposals for improving the production.

Dr. Krishnakumar Menon, Krishnakumar has a accountMariculture Expert at Dept. Presidential Affairs, UAE presented the challenges and opportunities in aquaculture at Middle East especially UAE.  To avoid the dependence on importing more than 90% of the food items government in these regions has plans to develop aquaculture. He briefly gave overview about the aquaculture activities of Aquaculture and Marine Studies Centre (AMSC), Abu Dhabi and their efforts to increase production, through modern technologies and infrastructure.

 

Dr. Ram Bangera, Senior Geneticist, Akvaforsk Genetics, Benchmark Genetics, Norway briefed about the selective breeding in aquaculture and highlighted the requirement of genetic improvement program targeting the important traits involved in production and health. Dr. Bangeras presentation highlighted the story of growth trajectory in aquaculture, achieved through selective bred finfishes such as salmon and farmed penaeid such as vannamei.  This experience could be useful in the proposed plan for selective breeding of P. indicus for species diversification program.

 All the experts felt that future of the aquaculture will be science and technology driven  and there is an urgent need to develop in-house technologies to suit the requirement of the local farming conditions. Dr. P.K.Patil, Principal Scientist & ITMU explained the technologies developed by CIBA and successfull translation   to the end users, while Dr.T. Ravisankar, Principal Scientist, Social Science Davison presented the economics of value chain, citing the commercialization of the CIBA technologies.  Dr Kumaraguru Vasagam moderated the discussions and presented vote of thanks. The digital conference registered a total participation by about 3580 participants.