ICAR-CIBA inks strategic Alliance with ‘The waterbase Ltd’ in the promotion of brackishwater aquaculture in the country

The Waterbase Ltd, one of the pioneering Indian company that manufactures high-quality shrimp feed signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ICAR-CIBA on 10th April 2018, for a collaborative programme of eco-friendly shrimp feed technology. The collaboration programme will cover technical collaboration and partnership in the development of ecofriendly shrimp feed, the VanamiEcoplus. The MoU was signed at the Thapar house, NewDelhi in the presence of Dr Pravin Puthra, ADG, ICAR, (Marine Fisheries), Dr K. K. Vijayan, Director, CIBA; Mr Varun Thapar, Director, The Waterbase Limited and Mr Ramakanth V. Akula, CEO, The Waterbase Limited.

According to Dr K. K. Vijayan, Director, CIBA, India is a major shrimp producer, where shrimp are alone contributing over 60% of seafood exports of the country. In farmed shrimp production, the formulated 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 our research findings have direct applications in the field. We are happy to be partnering with Waterbase, wherein we are looking at transferring the technologies from the lab to the field, where the social benefit is measurable.

Mr Ramakanth V. Akula, CEO, The Waterbase said, 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. For us, this alliance with CIBA comes at the right time. 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.

The MoU will involve the 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 will provide its expertise in testing finished feeds in experimental ponds of CIBA, The Waterbase company and farmers ponds, and subsequently to the shrimp farming sector.

The event was coordinated by Dr K. Ambasankar, Principal Scientist & Scientist-in-charge, Nutrition Section, and Dr P.K. Patil, Principal Scientist, CIBA.

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