Brackishwater Farmers Meet at Kakdwip Research Centre of CIBA Funded by National Fisheries Development Board, 9-12-14

Kakdwip Research Centre (KRC) of Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) organised Brackishwater Farmers Meet on 9th December 2014. Dr. P. Ravichandran, Member Secretary, Coastal Aquaculture Authority of India, Chennai inaugurated meet. Dr. (Mrs) S. Bhattacharya, Joint Secretary, Department of Fisheries, West Bengal and Dr. K. K. Vijayan, Director, CIBA graced the occasion. The meeting was attended by more than 200 participants including brackishwater farmers, stakeholders and entrepreneurs from South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas and Purba Midnapore District, West Bengal. The meeting was sponsored by National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB). Dr. T. K. Ghoshal, Officer-in-charge, Kakdwip Research Centre of CIBA welcomed the distinguished guests, gathering and briefed about the achievements and activities of the Centre.

While addressing the gathering, Dr. K. K Vijayan, Director, CIBA, Chennai highlighted the technologies developed and transferred by CIBA for the sustainable development of brackishwater aquaculture in West Bengal and in the country as a whole. He emphasized the importance of two way interaction between farming and scientific community to discuss and deliberate various issues. He stressed the importance of small scale marginal farmers for development of brackishwater sector in India and urged the farming community to adopt integrated, sustainable and cost effective aquaculture. He encouraged the farming community to have location specific environmental friendly showcase models for maximum utilization of the potential brackishwater resources in West Bengal. Dr. P. Ravichandran, in his felicitation address expressed that opportunities of aquaculture in West Bengal are tremendous as state ranks top in fish consumption in India. He said that Kakdwip Research Centre of CIBA has played a vital role in brackishwater aquaculture research and development since 1976. He briefed the role of Coastal Aquaculture Authority in India for utilization of natural resources in a rational and environment friendly way for sustainable brackishwater aquaculture development. He appreciated the efforts of innovative and progressive farmers for the positive visible changes in fish production throughout the country. He emphasised that farmers should take up sustainable technologies developed by CIBA to augment fish production and prosperity in the state. Dr. (Mrs) S. Bhattacharya highlighted the activities and achievements of West Bengal State Fisheries Department for improving livelihood of farming communities in Sundarban. She complimented CIBA for the development and transfer of sustainable technologies to the farmers. She suggested that the farming community may make use of the available technologies for better growth of the sector. She stressed the need of conservation of biodiversity and asked farmers to be cautious about the entry of exotic fishes in India. Mr. Tapan Maity, a progressive farmer from Kamarhat, Mr. Subhransu Jana, an innovative farmer from Uttarchandanpiri, Debakinandan Patra, a progressive farmer from Madangunj, Anup Nayek, a shrimp farmer from Uttarchandanpiri shared their experience and expressed views for further development of brackishwater culture in Sundarban. They emphasized the importance of proper utilization of brackishwater resources as good tidal flow is available in Sundarban. Progressive farmers explained the importance to adopt low risk high profit farming methods like polyculture, mudcrab culture etc. Milk fish harvesting was also arranged as part of the farmers meet. An exhibition was also organised by displaying various on-going activities at the centre. Low cost polyculture feed developed from indigenous ingredients were distributed to progressive farmers for its demonstration trial. The officials from the State Fisheries Department and NGOs also participated in the brackishwater interaction meet.

In the scientist-farmer interaction session various aspects related to the farming of Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei, green mud crab culture, supply of seed for locally important brackishwater fishes like Mugil cephalus, Liza tade and Liza parsia, etc., were discussed. The farmers’ appeal to establish a seed bank and backyard hatchery for year round supply of quality fish seed and their concern over the grim situation of fluctuation in shrimp market price, disease incidences, lack of quality seed, etc., were also discussed. The programme ended with vote of thanks proposed by Dr.Sanjoy Das, Senior Scientist of the Centre.

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