Aqua farmers can make a real success of the ‘Make in India’ initiative in the sector and widen their scope from just shrimp farming to some other fishes like Asian seabass and tilapia, researchers said at Aqua Aquaria India (AAI), a three-day exhibition hosted by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), here today.
Showcasing the work of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA), which works with MPEDA, RGCA Project Director Dr. S Kandan encouraged farmers to use the technologies, available with the premier research agency, to diversify their business and export Indian goods to other countries.
Already the RGCA has many firsts to its credit. The centre has standardised the breeding and seed production of mangrove mud crab, a highly sought-after commodity in the international market, and its hatchery facility is the only one of its kind in the country. “The technology took two years to standardise and now one million crabs are produced per annum,” Dr Kandan said.
RGCA has done similar research and top-level technical work with Asian seabass, cobia, tilapia and scampi and made the technology available for commercialisation.
While India was importing Artemia cyst worth Rs 200 crore from abroad, the RGCA stepped in, and today, its high quality Artemia franciscana cysts are appreciated as being of the ‘best quality’. “It is the best option for women entrepreneurs; we already have 100 women in self help groups in this business,” he pointed out.
Apart from providing training—more than 7,000 people have been given hands on guidance—under the skill development initiative, the MPEDA-RGCA combine has made its world-standard pathology lab and aquatic quarantine facilities, in Sirkali, Tamil Nadu, available to farmers. It is s now in the process of setting up an algae lab.
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