Agricultural Education Day Celebrated at ICAR-CIBA, Chennai

Food is our basic need and agriculture is a unique occupation which supplies food and provide raw materials for other sectors to survive. Elders have rightly said that if farmers’ hands are slackened even the ascetic state will fail. Healthy food is important and it is imperative to connect the people who produce the food for others. Agriculture, the noble profession has the potential to eradicate poverty, unemployment and enhance the prosperity of the nation. Nevertheless, there has been a growing disconnect between agriculture and national development which needs to be refocused. A favourable attitude towards agriculture needs be inculcated among the students because teaching a student is tantamount to educating a family. In this context the ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIBA), Chennai has conducted the Agricultural Education Day on 4th December, 2017 to educate the school students on various facets of brackishwater aquaculture and inspire them to develop interest in agriculture in general. About 250 higher secondary students and 17 school teachers from leading schools of Chennai participated in the programme held at the Field Experimental Station of CIBA at Muttukadu 30 km south of Chennai.

The students were taken to the research facilities especially shrimp, mud crab, fin fish hatcheries, live feed units, fed mill, aquatic water quality and health laboratories for a real-time field exposure. They were exposed to aquaculture of shrimps, mud crabs and finfishes including their seed production, feeds and feeding, importance of soil and water quality, disease prevention, diagnosis and management were explained to the students. The nutritional specialities of ‘fish as health food’ were vividly articulated in detail with illustrations. Further, a career guidance session pertaining to aquaculture, agriculture, veterinary and fisheries subjects was held wherein the students had evinced keen interest to know the higher educational courses and job opportunities available in the sector. Finally a quiz programme comprised of identification of fish, shrimp and mud crab species, inputs and aids used in aquaculture and general knowledge pertaining to agriculture was conducted for the students. The students and teachers enjoyed the interaction and had a feel about the facilities and `the research work being carried out at ICAR-CIBA and appreciated the efforts taken by the institute in creating awareness on fisheries and aquaculture to the student community. The programme was coordinated by the social sciences division of ICAR-CIBA with the involvement of subject matter divisions.

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