Dr. Ravishankar C.N., Director, CIFE presided over the function while Dr. Vijay Mahajan, Director, Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research, Rajgurunagar was the Chief Guest. Dr. N.P. Sahu, Joint Director and Dr. S. N. Ojha, HoD, FEES chaired the technical sessions. A study tour of 45 tribal farmers from Nandurbar district was also organised. Fish farmers shared their stories of success first hand highlighting their initial failures, subsequent struggles in sourcing the right information, quality seed and feed and as well as finding a marketing solution that ensured a good price. The stakeholder workshop focused on identifying challenges and finding ways to tap the nearly 3.7 lakh farm ponds in constructed for protective irrigation in Maharashtra to rear fish and diversify farm enterprises. Farmers from Satara, Pune and Ahmednagar districts have demonstrated that aquaculture in farm ponds not only reduced risk but more than doubled their income, achieved the goal of ‘more crop per drop’ and meets the local demand for fish. The workshop identified the absence of awareness and a custom-made aquaculture package of practices for the unique farm pond resource (varying size, depth and polythene lining) as primary hurdles in large scale adoption and limited success rate. Many farmers cited the unavailability of quality fish seed and feed and as being cheated by unscrupulous middlemen/traders. CIFE has promised to develop a technological package as well as IFS / aqua-tourism models in collaboration with ICAR institutes, and work with development departments and KVKs to promote aquaculture in farm ponds. Dr. Shivaji Argade, Dr. Ankush Kamble and Dr. Ananthan P.S. coordinated the program.
Acharya Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology 1