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The ICAR Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture Chennai, organized a national consultative workshop on “Aquaculture Insurance Product Development” on 13th April, 2024 at Chennai on a hybrid mode, blending in-person attendance with virtual participation to accommodate diverse stakeholders from across the aquaculture and insurance sectors. About 50 delegates participated in the workshop representing a spectrum of entities including officials from the Ministry of Fisheries, Government of India, representatives from the World Bank, the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), leading insurance companies, progressive farmers, eminent scientists and scientist from ICAR- CIBA.

The workshop commenced with a welcome address by Dr. C P Balasubramanian, Head, Crustacean Culture Division and Director-in-Charge at ICAR-CIBA who underscored the critical nature of the workshop and highlighting its role in shaping the landscape of aquaculture insurance product development. The workshop was inaugurated by Shri.V. Srinivasa Rao, Director, Department of Fisheries, Government of India and in his address, Shri Rao articulated the workshop’s objectives, emphasizing the importance of addressing the technical concerns of insurance companies and charting a path forward aligned with initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSSKY).

Dr. L N Murthy, Chief Executive of the NFDB, lauded the collaborative efforts of ICAR-CIBA and NFDB in steering the shrimp crop insurance project towards the success. He emphasized the potential for further enhancement through strategic alliances with the Ministry of Fisheries, Government of India. Representing the World Bank, Dr. Tapas Pal provided a global perspective, highlighting India’s aquaculture sector’s robust annual growth rate of 11%. Dr.Pal emphasized the transformative potential of expanding shrimp crop insurance to catalyze further growth in the sector. The technical sessions were led by Subject Matter Scientists from ICAR CIBA, as well as the Madras Research Centre (MRC) of ICAR- CMFRI, ICAR- CIFA, and ICAR -DCFR. These sessions dealt on critical topics such as Shrimp Crop Insurance Growth and Issues, and Scope for Inland Coldwater and Mariculture Insurance products. Participants gained invaluable knowledge about the current landscape and future trajectories of insurance within these specialized domains. Subsequently discussions were held on insurance-related challenges and opportunities pertaining to shrimp and other fisheries species. The engagement was enriched by active participation from farmers and insurance industry professionals, fostering collaborative problem-solving and ideation.

An enriching field visit was organized as part of the workshop to shrimp farming operations in Tiruvallur district for providing participants with first hand exposure. This experiential learning opportunity deepened understanding and facilitated practical insights into aquaculture practices and associated insurance considerations. The workshop was coordinated by Dr. T Ravisankar, Principal Scientist and Scientist-in Charge- Social Sciences Division, Dr. C V Sairam Principal Scientist, Dr. R Geetha, Senior Scientist, Dr.R.Annada Raja, Principal Scientist and Dr. P.K Patil Principal Scientist – Aquatic Animal Health and Environment Division and Officer-in-Charge, Project Monitoring and Evaluation and Institute Technology Management Unit of CIBA.

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