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The ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIBA) conducted the second edition of its Shrimp Farmers Conclave-2023 on 14th September, 2023 at the Navsari Agricultural University Campus, Navsari, Gujarat. About 410 aquafarmers across the coastal districts of Gujarat participated in the conclave. In addition to that officials, technicians, faculty and students were also participated in large number. Shri.Parshottam Rupalaji, Hon’ble Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India was the Chief Guest and inaugurated the Conclave. In his address, the honourable minister conveyed his gratitude to the Honourable Prime Minister of India Shri. Narendra Modiji, for approving the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampadan Yojana with the financial outlay of Rs.20,050 crores for the sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture sector. This paved the way for awarding a mega project to ICAR-CIBA on Genetic improvement program of Penaeus indicus (Indian white shrimp)-Phase-I” with an outlay of Rs.25 crores under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) to establish a National Genetic Improvement Facility for shrimp breeding. He congratulated CIBA scientists for developing a therapeutic EHP-Cura-I for the control of EHP disease in shrimp and asked them to make available the farmers at the earliest. The Minister also launched the Shrimp Crop Insurance scheme developed by the Agricultural Insurance Company (AIC) with the support of ICAR-CIBA during the occasion in the presence of    Smt. Girija Subramanian, the Chairman cum Managing Director of AIC.

Two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) between CIBA and National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB); CIBA and Fish Farmers Producer Organization (FFPO) of Gujarat respectively for implementing the crop insurance for aquaculture with premium subsidy offered by the NFDB and technology support for the FFPO. The Minister also handed over a sum Rs. 40.05 Lakhs income earned by the SC and ST beneficiaries of Navasari region through adoption of CIBA technologies for the livelihood development supported by NGRC-CIBA scientists. Navsari-Gujarat Regional centre of CIBA is doing good services to the aqua farmers of Gujarat and other inland saline areas of Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana, therefore, he advised the Department of Fisheries of Gujarat to extend all the facilities and support that required for the centre to grow it as a full-fledged research facility for the entire west coast the minister said. The minister assured that steps will be taken to provide an own land for establishing its own laboratory cum administrative facilities to NGRC of CIBA for catering the needs of the aquafarmers in the west coast.  Earlier, the minister has seen the exhibition of live shrimps and finfish species, CIBA hatchery produced shrimp and fish seeds. He also handed over the CIBA produced Indian white shrimp seeds to the farmers. He also released several publication in Gujarati language prepared by ICAR-CIBA during the occasion.

Shri.C.R.Patil, the Honourable Member of Parliament, Navsari constituency participated in the Conclave as Guest of Honour appreciated ICAR-CIBA for conducting this mega event in Navsari and assured the  Navsari-Gujarat Regional Centre of CIBA for all the  support.

Dr. J.K. Jena, the Deputy Director General (Fisheries) of ICAR in his Guest of honour address highlighted that shrimp is the major item contributing about 70% Indian seafood exports in value terms worth Rs.35,000 crores. However, in the recent years due to the supply of more quantities of shrimp from the Ecuador, the import of Indian farmed shrimp in the international markets has been showing a declining trend which in turn reduced the market price at the local level. Therefore, innovative strategies are the need of the hour both at the market as well as in the farming sectors to overcome this issue. Similarly diversification of brackishwater aquaculture with other species like SPF tiger shrimp and genetically improved Indian white shrimp may give an advantage to the Indian shrimp farmers in the days to come.

Dr.Kuldeep K Lal, Director, ICAR-CIBA in his welcome address set the stage for the conclave by articulating the importance of the shrimp farmers conclave, the present scenario of brackishwater aquaculture in the country and specifically in the state of Gujarat, the efforts of CIBA in addressing the issues in shrimp farming, diseases monitoring, diversification of the systems and species, feed formulations with alternative protein sources and technical backstopping in developing regulatory guidelines, developmental policies and societal development.

During the technical session of the conclave were the shrimp export present scenario and immediate prospects, disease prevention and management with special reference to Hepatopancreatic microsporidiosis (HPM) caused by a microsporidian (Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP), crop insurance for shrimp farming, development of Genetically Improved Indian White Shrimp (Penaeus indicus) and diversification of brackishwater aquaculture with Mudcrab and Asian Seabass fish were discussed.

The Govt. of India under the Prime Minister’s Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) funding the National Disease Surveillance Programme for Aquatic Animal Diseases (NSPAAD) for reporting of emerging disease pathogens in the country and a “Report Fish Disease APP” was developed for reporting of existing and emerging pathogens by the farmers was demonstrated to the farmers during the conclave, said Dr.Kuldeep K Lal, Director, ICAR-CIBA. Subsequently, a vivid presentation was made on the Hepatopancreatic microsporidiosis (HPM) caused by a microsporidian (Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP), its diagnosis and Management in shrimp farms was made by Dr.T.Sathishkumar, Scientist of ICAR-CIBA. During his presentation, the promising results given by a therapeutic developed by CIBA to manage the EHP pathogen in shrimp farms was also detailed.

Subsequently, a special session on ‘Shrimp Crop Insurance’ was convened wherein the Agricultural Insurance of Corporation of India, United India Insurance Corporation of India and the mediator Alliance Insurance Brokers along with Dr. T.Ravisankar, Principal Scientist, CIBA and Dr.L.Narashima Murthy, the Chief Executive of the National Fisheries Development Board participated and explained about the insurance product developed by the United India Insurance for shrimp farming and the premiums for basic and disease cover and the 20-30% subsidy component provided by the NFDB. The farmers were optimistic about the scheme and expressed their willingness to participate in that.

Subsequently, shrimp farmers expressed their issues, requirements especially on shrimp seed quality, shrimp price, electricity tariff etc. before an inter-departmental panel of officials and got appropriate advisories which was coordinated by Dr.M.Kumaran, the Coordinator of the Farmers Conclave. Later, Dr.M.Kailasam and Dr. C.P.Balasubramanian, Heads of Departments, CIBA on presented on diversification of brackishwater Aquaculture respectively with Asia seabass and Mud crab and their farming practices.

The conclave was conducted with the financial support of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Govt. of India under the PMMSY scheme, NABARD, SCAFi and Agricultural Insurance Corporation Ltd. The scientific team led by Dr. Akshaya Panigrahi, Mr. Pankaj A Patil and Mr. Jose Antony of the NGRC of CIBA coordinated the conclave and the conclave ended with the vote of thanks by Mr.Pankaj A Patil, the nodal officer of NGRC-CIBA.

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No Thoughts on Shri. Parshottam Rupalaji, Hon’ble Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India launched the shrimp crop insurance schemes in the Second Edition of ICAR-CIBA’s Shrimp Farmers Conclave-2023 at Navsari on 14th September, 2023