Bhubaneswar: With financial outlay of Rs.200 crores, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research initiated a mega project “Seed Production in Agricultural Crops and Fisheries’’ in the year 2006. It aimed at providing quality seed to farmers through a network of research institute, Agricultural universities and seed agencies. Dr. S. Ayyappan, Deputy Director General(Fisheries),ICAR,New Delhi, while reviewing the project at CIFA today underlined the importance of seed in ensuring food and nutritional security. He stressed that seed plays a stellar role in enhancing productivity and production. The meeting is being attended by over fifty researchers from 35 centres, where the fish seed project in underway. The centers presented their progress made during last year and action plan for the next year.
Despite earlier efforts, availability of quality seed to farmers has remained challenge. Many new and improved varieties, developed by research Institutes and agricultural universities have failed to reach the end users for want of seed. The present ICAR initiative, with indications already available, is surely going to solve the problem. The Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Bhubaneswar is the nodal center for fish seed component of this mega project. Dr. N. Sarangi, Director, CIFA informed that quality fish seed production from the implementing centers has gone up remarkably ( 214 % rise over the previous year) and he acknowledged the financial support rendered by the ICAR. Huge infrastructural facilities have been also created for scientific breeding and rearing of different fish species in different parts of the country to ensure supply of quality seed at appropriate time to the farmers. Besides Indian major carps, shrimp, catfishes, freshwater prawn and ornamental fishes are included in the project. This will go long way in boosting fish production and also enhance rural livelihood security, said Dr. Sarangi.
Among others who spoke on the occasion were Dr. V.V.Sugunan, Asstt Director General (Fisheries),ICAR and Dr. T. K. Srivastava, Directorate of Seed Research, Mau, U.P. Dr Sugunan emphasized that quality seed is crucial input for successful aquaculture operation.