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The Division of Animal and Fisheries Sciences (DAFS) at the ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Umiam, Meghalaya, organized a one-day programme on February 20, 2024, focused on capacity building of adivasi farmers in winter management in aquaculture, alongside a Field Day on Good Aquaculture Practices (GAP) under the Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) at the Fisheries Research Farm. The event aimed to educate twenty-five farmers from Ri Bhoi district, Meghalaya, on effective aquaculture practices, with a specific emphasis on winter management and GAP.

The programme commenced with establishing rapport with the farmers to understand their socio-economic status and current fish farming practices. Subsequently, the farmers were introduced to various activities at the fisheries research farm, starting with the selection of quality fish seeds. They were also instructed on preparing quality fish feeds, testing water quality, and the application of lime. Additionally, integrated farming techniques for generating additional income were demonstrated.

A key highlight of the programme was the session on common carp breeding techniques, which sparked significant interest among the farmers. Furthermore, the farmers received guidance on pond management practices, including dike management, pond dewatering, and soil management techniques. They were also briefed on the operation of a fish hatchery and the entrepreneurship development opportunities in ornamental fish farming.

The event concluded with the distribution of quality fish seeds among the farmers free of cost, as part of the TSP initiative. The distribution ceremony was attended by Dr. S. Hazarika, Head (DSRE) and Nodal Officer (TSP), and Dr. S.K. Das, Principal Scientist (FS). The feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive, indicating the programmes effectiveness in imparting knowledge and skills.

The successful execution of the program was made possible through the coordination efforts of Dr. C. Debnath, Sr. Scientist (FRM), Mr. S.G. Singh, Scientist SS (FRM), and Mr. Tasso Tayung, Scientist SS (Aquaculture), under the guidance of Dr. S.K. Das. The technical staff (Fisheries), including Mr. P.J. Ryntathiang, Mr. P. Mahanta, and Mr. A. Das, provided valuable assistance, ensuring the smooth conduct of the program.

In conclusion, the Capacity Building programme and Field Day on Good Aquaculture Practices proved to be a valuable initiative in enhancing the knowledge and skills of adivasi farmers in aquaculture. Such programmes are essential for promoting sustainable aquaculture practices and improving the livelihoods of farmers in the region.

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