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Navsari centre of ICAR-CIBA has demonstrated an ‘Integrated Aqua-Agri-Poultry and Goat-rearing’ Model farm for the livelihood and nutritional security of tribal communities in Singod Village, Navsari district, Gujarat. The model farm is run by a 40-member tribal self-help group i.e., Singod Halpati Samaj Yuva Matsya Udhyog Juth was mobilised by the scientific team of NGRC-CIBA. The model farm is consisted of 25 low volume cages (4 x 4 x 2 m) to grow fishes like Pangasius, Tilapia, Pearlspot and Rohu. The dykes of the pond were used for growing seasonal vegetables such as brinjal, chilly, cauliflower, tomatoes, fenugreek, etc, and fruit bearing trees like mango, coconut, dragon fruit etc. A poultry unit (2000 birds) and a goat rearing (12 Goats) shed were also erected on the other side dykes of the pond to create additional income to the members. The cage-based fish farming was planned as a multiple stocking and multiple harvesting mode wherein the harvest is staggered periodically to ensure continuous flow of cash and income to the tribal beneficiaries. CIBA provided livelihood development support through the scheduled tribe component (STC)  plan in kinds like supply of cage nets, frames, brackishwater and freshwater finfish seed and feed, poultry chicks (meat variety), goats etc., and the beneficiaries were trained on management of cage nets, feeding, handling of fishes and aquatic animal health management.

A harvest mela cum interaction meet on “aquaculture and allied technologies for livelihood development of tribal communities” was held on 24thOctober 2021at the farm site.  During the occasion 800 kg of live Pangasius fish (size 1-1.5 kg) were partial harvested and sold to local fish dealer. Subsequently around 500-600 kg live Pangasius and Tilpia fishes will be supplied to local dealer on daily basis.  During the program a sum of Rs. 1.85 lakh was distributed to the group against sale of fish, poultry birds and vegetables. It is estimated that farming system may generate a total income of Rs.14-15 lakhs for tribal communities of Singod, Navsari, Gujarat. Shri.Kaushik Bhai Halpati leader of group detailed the gathering on how CIBA’s interventions have changed their daily lives and thanked Scientists of ICAR-CIBA, Chennai and NGRC, Navsari for all their efforts. Mr. Pankaj A. Patil, OIC and Scientist, NGRC of CIBA articulated that the IFS model developed is being replicated for the tribal SHGs in Matwad village of Navsari, Gujarat and Chinchani village of Palghar, Maharashtra for their livelihood upliftment.

Dr. K. P. Jithendran, Director ICAR CIBA, Chennai and Dr. P. Mahalakshmi, Principal Scientist and Nodal officer, STC, ICAR-CIBA congratulated the SHG members for their efforts and reiterated on ICAR-CIBA’s continued efforts towards food, employment and livelihood security through brackishwater aquaculture. Mr. Pankaj A. Patil, Shri. Tanveer Hussain and Shri. Jose Antony Scientists of the NGRC-CIBA coordinated the programme.