National Farmers Day or Kisan Diwas is celebrated every year 23rd December 2023 in the honor of Chaudhary Charan Singh who was the fifth Prime Minister of India. ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA), Chennai, Tamil Nadu, has observed the Kisan Diwas as an activity of Swachhata Pakhwada at Kasimedu fishing harbour, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, by conducting awareness programme on waste to wealth and sharing of experience of different stakeholders who has used CIBA-Plankton plus and CIBA HortiPlus, products developed from fish waste. Dr. P.Mahalakshmi, Principal Scientist and Nodal Officer of Swachh Bharat Mission of CIBA, highlighted the importance of National Farmers Day. She also informed the attending participants about the importance of Swachh Bharat Mission and waste to wealth concept and how to utilize farm waste effectively. Dr.P.Mahalakshmi informed the gathering that Dr. Kuldeep Kumar Lal, Director, CIBA had directed and provided all facilities to install the recycling of fish waste processing unit in all the fish markets and coastal states based on the need and interest shown by the farmers, and also to encourage the use of CIBA-PlanktonPlus and CIBA HortiPlus in agriculture.
Dr.K.Ambasankar, HoD, Nutrition Genetics and Biotechnology Division, CIBA, Chennai, demonstrated the protocol for recycling of fish waste to value added products, CIBA-PlanktonPlus and CIBA HortiPlus and their usage in commercial aquaculture and their marketing potential. Dr.B.Shanti, Principal Scientist, CIBA, Chennai, highlighted the CIBA technologies and also the social developmental activities conducted in Pulicat, Tiruvallur district, Tamil Nadu by CIBA for tribal and coastal communities for enhancing their livelihood and upliftment of socio-economic status.
Dr.N.Unnamalai, Sr. Principal Scientist and Dr.P.Sukumaran, Principal Scientist, Shri A.M.M. Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre (MCRC), non-profit research organization, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, informed that as per the MoU signing with CIBA, we have demonstrated the usage of CIBA-PlanktonPlus in paddy farming at Thiruvallur district, Tamil Nadu. She highlighted that the application of CIBA-PlanktonPlus has increasing the tiller and yield and also reducing the usage of chemical fertilizers. They also informed that MCRC has given CIBA-PlanktonPlus to 500 farmers for paddy farming at Chengalpet district, Kancheepuram district, Thiruvallur district, Cuddalore district and Sivaganga district.
Dr.Nanjil P. Ravi, President, Anaithu Fishermen Cooperative Society, Kasimedu, Chennai, cherished the efforts of CIBA, in promoting of waste to wealth concept as an alternative livelihood activity for the fishers in their village. Shri.T. Kennit Raj, fish farmer and proprietor of V.S. Fish Waste Hydrolysate, Kasimedu and Nammbikkai Fish Farmers Group, Pattinapakkam, Tamil Nadu, shared his experience about the establishment of fish waste processing unit at Nambikkai Nagar and Kasimedu, Chennai, under the technical guidance and support of CIBA for the production of CIBA-Planktonplus and CIBA HortiPlus, recycling of fish waste to value added products. He expressed that this Fish Farmers Group has generated employment opportunities for more than 40 coastal families in and around Chennai and their socio-economic status has been uplifted through this technology.
Around 150 fish farmers including local fishermen cooperative society members, panchayat representatives, press and media, MCRC team, and CIBA team participated in the programme. During the programme, PlanktonPlus was handed over to the MCRC who is going to apply CIBA-PlanktonPlus in the paddy farming. At the end of the event, CIBA has distributed the plastic waste collection bin and cleaning materials to fishermen cooperative society representatives and fish waste processing unit for cleaning the work and village premises.
Dr.P.Mahalakshmi, Dr. K.Ambasankar, Dr.B.Shanti and Mr.Jagan Mohan Raj coordinated the event and explained the queries raised by the participants.