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Parshottam Rupala Inaugurates ICAR-CIBA’s Shrimp Farmers Conclave-2023 at Navsari, Gujarat

Shrimp Farmers Conclave provided a platform for aqua farmers to gain insights, discuss challenges, and explore opportunities in the Shrimp farming industry, aligning with the government's initiatives to boost the fisheries and aquaculture sector in India.

Shivam Dwivedi
Parshottam Rupala Inaugurates 2nd Edition of ICAR-CIBA’s Shrimp Farmers Conclave-2023 at Navsari, Gujarat (Photo Source: PIB)
Parshottam Rupala Inaugurates 2nd Edition of ICAR-CIBA’s Shrimp Farmers Conclave-2023 at Navsari, Gujarat (Photo Source: PIB)

Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala inaugurated the Second Edition of ICAR-CIBA's Shrimp Farmers Conclave-2023 at the Navsari Agricultural University Campus in Gujarat. This significant event witnessed the participation of approximately 410 aqua farmers from coastal districts in Gujarat.

Parshottam Rupala expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for approving the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampadan Yojana, a scheme with a financial outlay of Rs. 20,050 crores aimed at the sustainable development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector. Under this scheme, ICAR-CIBA is implementing a project titled "Genetic improvement program of Penaeus indicus (Indian white Shrimp)-Phase-I" with an outlay of Rs. 25 crores.

This project aims to establish a National Genetic Improvement Facility for Shrimp breeding. Rupala also commended CIBA scientists for developing therapeutic EHP-Cura-I to control EHP disease in Shrimp and urged them to make it available to farmers promptly. During the event, the Minister launched the Shrimp Crop Insurance scheme, developed by the Agricultural Insurance Company (AIC) in collaboration with ICAR-CIBA. This initiative was introduced in the presence of Grija Subramanian, the Chairman cum Managing Director of AIC.

Two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) were signed between CIBA and the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), as well as CIBA and the Fish Farmers Producer Organization (FFPO) of Gujarat. These agreements aim to implement crop insurance for aquaculture, with premium subsidies provided by the NFDB, and offer technology support for FFPO.

Furthermore, Rupala presented an income of Rs. 40.05 lakhs earned by SC, ST, and Cage Culture beneficiaries in the Navsari region through the adoption of CIBA technologies for livelihood development, supported by NGRC-CIBA scientists. Rupala encouraged the Department of Fisheries in Gujarat to extend full support to the Navsari-Gujarat Regional Centre of CIBA, which serves aqua farmers in Gujarat and other inland saline areas in Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana. He envisioned the centre as a robust research facility for the entire west coast.

Union Minister Rupala also visited an exhibition showcasing live Shrimps, finfish species, and CIBA hatchery-produced Shrimp and fish seeds. He distributed CIBA-produced Asian sea bass fish seeds to the farmers. Guest of Honour, Member of Parliament, Navsari constituency, C.R. Patil, appreciated ICAR-CIBA for hosting the conclave in Navsari and pledged his support to the Navsari-Gujarat Regional Centre of CIBA.

Dr. J. K. Jena, Deputy Director General (Fisheries) of ICAR, highlighted the importance of shrimp in Indian seafood exports, contributing about 70% in value terms, worth Rs. 35,000 crores. He emphasized the need for innovative strategies to address challenges arising from increased shrimp supply from Ecuador and declining market prices.

Dr. V. Kripa, Member Secretary of the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA), explained the registration process for shrimp farms with the CAA, assuring farmers of CAA's commitment to consider aquaculture as a farming activity and include it in the national disaster management list. Dr. Kuldeep K Lal, Director of ICAR-CIBA, underscored the significance of the shrimp farmers conclave. He discussed various aspects of brackish water aquaculture, including disease monitoring, diversification, feed formulations, and regulatory guidelines.

During the technical session of the conclave, experts discussed shrimp exports, disease prevention (particularly Hepatopancreatic microsporidiosis caused by EHP), shrimp farming insurance, genetic improvement of Indian white shrimp, and diversification of brackish water aquaculture with Mudcrab and Asian Seabass fish.

Dr. Lal also highlighted the government's funding of the National Disease Surveillance Programme for Aquatic Animal Diseases under the Prime Minister's Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) and the development of a "Report Fish Disease APP" for farmers to report existing and emerging pathogens. In a special session on ‘Shrimp Crop Insurance,' various insurance companies, along with CIBA experts and the Chief Executive of the National Fisheries Development Board, Dr. L. Narashima Murthy, presented the insurance product developed for shrimp farming, including premiums and subsidies. Farmers expressed their willingness to participate in this scheme.

The conclave received financial support from the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), NABARD, SCAFi, and Agricultural Insurance Corporation Ltd. A dedicated scientific team led by Dr. Akshaya Panigrahi, Mr. Pankaj A Patil, and Mr. Jose Antony of the NGRC of CIBA successfully organized the event, attracting various officials, technicians, faculty, and students.

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