"Farmers Conclave and National Workshop on Sustainable Livelihood Options in Aquaculture for Rural Population for Doubling Aquafarmers Income” Conducted at Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu by ICAR - CIBA in collaboration with the Fisheries Technocrats Forum (FTF) Chennai on 19.08.2017

The Government of India has envisaged and working towards doubling the farmers’ income by 2022 and brackishwater aquaculture has the potential to achieve this target through market-led aquaculture planning and utilizing the open brackishwaters with viable production systems. In this direction, ICAR-Central Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIBA) in association with the Fisheries Technocrats Forum (FTF), Chennai conducted a farmers conclave cum workshop on “Sustainable Livelihood Options in Aquaculture for Rural Population” at Nagapattinam which is the fisheries and aquaculture hub of Tamil Nadu on 19th August, 2017. About 100 participants comprised of farmers and rural youths, fisheries researchers from ICAR-CIBA, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA), Sirkali, the research arm of MPEDA, National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai, Tamil Nadu Fisheries University (TNFU), Nagapattinam, Officials from the Department of Fisheries, Tamil Nadu, Members of FTF, academicians and students were converged in the conclave. Detailed discussions were held to chalk out the way forward for optimally utilising the brackishwater resources and identify interventions in the aquaculture production systems to enhance the fisheries production and increasing the farmers income. Dr.A.R.Thiruvavukkarasu, Chairman, FTF in his introduction emphasized that Nagapattinam region is the tail end of Cauvery river delta where the rural farmers have to depend on fisheries and aquaculture as the major source for livelihood, employment and income generation. Therefore, adequate attention needs to be paid in promoting aquaculture in the region with viable aquaculture production systems and institutional support he expressed. Nagapattinam is vulnerable to extreme climatic events such as flood and sea level rise hence a comprehensive planning is required to develop aquaculture in this region said Dr.Nagoor Meeran, Director, Extension, TNFU. CIBA has developed technology for seed production and farming of Asian Seabass (Lates calcarifer) and Mud crab (Scylla serrata) and the RGCA has taken these technologies from CIBA for scaling up. Research and development institutions need to work together in developing and demonstrating viable technology packages referred Dr.S. Kandan, Project Director, RGCA. Dr.R.Kirubagaran, Head, Marine Biotechnology Division, NIOT in his presidential address informed that NIOT has been working with CIBA in developing system specific aquaculture rearing systems such as cages and expressed that cage farming in the brackishwaters is a viable option for enhancing fish production for that stockable size of fish fingerlings and cost-effective feed are very important. The fisheries department has been taking proactive actions by registration of all the aquaculture farms in the region which is essential to avail institutional support for the sector said Shri.R.Ravichandran, Assistant Director of Fisheries, Nagapattinam.

Dr.K.K.Vijayan, Director, CIBA and the Member-Secretary, Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA), Govt. of India in his inaugural address articulated that brackishwaters can only be utilised for aquaculture and the large area of water bodies available in this region need to be effectively used for aquaculture of fishes for producing food, employment and income. He pointed out that CIBA has successfully demonstrated cage culture of fishes in open brackishwaters to produce premium fish with attractive market price. Further, he added that under ‘make in India’ mode CIBA has successfully farmed Indian white shrimp (Penaeus indicus) in ‘farmer partnership’ approach grow to market size in 90-100 days, re-orientating the shrimp aquaculture crop plan suiting to market demand using native species. CIBA is interacting with the farmers’ in on-line through vanamishrimpapp a mobile-phone based tool on free of cost and he urged the farmers to make use of the facility to interact with scientists to avail technology solutions to their field problems. He was confident that presence of many youth in the conclave augurs well for aquaculture and under the Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture (ARYA) programme, CIBA can impart required skill development to them. He also honoured three innovative farmers of the region with Shri.K.Chidambaram, Memorial Award for their novel farming approaches constituted by the FTF. In the technical session, the scientists explained the livelihood modules available in fin fishes, mud crab and shrimp. The feed management and disease prevention and management protocols were also explained to the farmers. Farmers interacted with the subject matter scientists concerned and clarified their queries. Finally, in the concluding session, entrepreneurship development in nursery rearing of finfishes, mud crab and shrimp are identified as viable livelihood activities to be taken up on priority. Also, development of policy guidelines for open water aquaculture and development of subsidy oriented schemes by the state and central governments were identified as policy initiatives by the farmers required immediate attention. Shri.M.Kathirvel, Secretary, FTF and Dr.M.Kumaran, Principal Scientist, CIBA respectively from the FTF and CIBA coordinated this workshop and farmers conclave.


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