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Sri Prathipati Pulla Rao, Honourable Minister for Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Government of Andhra Pradesh commercially launched the CIBA VannameiPLUS feed, distributed Soil and Water Health Cards, and released CIBA publications in the Brackishwater Aquaculture Farmers Meet organised by ICAR- Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) under National Innovations in Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) project on 04.02.2016 at Bapatla, Andhra Pradesh.

He has appreciated the efforts taken by CIBA in developing the cost-effective balanced shrimp feed Vannamei plus using indigenous ingredients with a cost of Rs. 55-65per kg in the context of ever-increasing feed cost which accounts for 60-65% of the total production cost, the major constraint affecting the growth and profitability of the shrimp farming sector. He also thanked CIBA for transferring the Vannamei plus feed technology to progressive and leading shrimp farmer, Sri. M.Karuna Raju and Sri Krishnam Raju of M/s. Sai Aqua Feeds, Bapatla, Guntur (Dt), AP on a PPP mode in order to bring down the feed cost and to increase the profitability to the shrimp farmers. He congratulated them for scaling up this technology and started the production of this cost-effective feed and urged the farmers to use the desi technologies, for achieving sustainability in profit and production. He also appreciated the services of CIBA in issuing the Soil and Water Health Cards to about 80 shrimp farmers in the neighbourhood of Bapatla, that are useful for scientific shrimp farming and in developing adaptation measures to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change on aquaculture. At the event he has released a farmer-friendly publication entitled “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Pertaining to Penaeus vannamei Shrimp Farming” and other publications on soil and water quality management, shrimp disease diagnosis and management, and shrimp as health food brought out by CIBA in English and Telugu language to create awareness among the farming community.

Dr. K. K. Vijayan, Director, ICAR-CIBA in his introductory speech stressed the role of public-private partnership in developing the indigenous technologies for the benefits farmers and emphasised the need of promoting joint initiatives with research institutions such as CIBA, state government and the stakeholders. Dr J.K. Jena, Deputy Director General (Fisheries), ICAR, New Delhi in his presidential address highlighted the importance of aquaculture sector in the providing nutritional security to the ever increasing Indian population and elaborated the role of Andhra Pradesh in aquaculture development both in freshwater and brackishwater sectors. He also impressed upon the farmers to take the opportunity soil and water health cards issued by CIBA for better scientific farming.
Sri Rama Sankar Naik, IAS, Commissioner of Fisheries, Govt. of AP appreciated CIBA for partnering with farmers and stressed the need for replication of this model in the major shrimp farming areas of the state, where he assured the wholehearted support of the Govt of Andhra Pradesh.

Sri Annam Satish Prabhakar, MLC, Guntur District while delivering the Guest of Honor address, elaborated the efforts taken by the State Government for aquaculture development. The PPP partner and farmer entrepreneur Sri. P. Krishnam Raju, Sai Aqua Feeds elaborated the genesis of the idea of setting up of feed mill and its role in reducing the cost of production. He appreciated the CIBA’s wholehearted cooperation in the execution of feed mill installation and their commitment in solving the teething problems. He also stressed for the cooperative mode in operating feed mill for increasing the profitability for the neighbouring farmers.

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