A revolution is unfolding in prawn farming in the Haldia block of West Bengal. For, a genetically improved prawn developed in the labs at CIFA Bhubaneswar has gained an average weight of 30-35 grams in flat three months. It holds the potential of a bumper harvest and redefine the prawn market in days to come.
The genetically improved scampi is indigenous and proving to be fast-growing and disease resistant.
Dr Bindu Raman Pillai, Principal Scientist and Head, Aquaculture Production and Environment Division, ICAR-CIFA and her team have developed the GI-scampi at Bhubaneswar through genetic selection in collaboration with World Fish, Malaysia.
“We are conducting monthly sampling in the farmers’ field and the result indicated that GI-scampi has gained an average weight of 30-35 g in just 03 months along with carps in polyculture system. The growth of GI-scampi is satisfactory and we are hopeful that the outcome after this culture period will encourage other farmers to adopt”, said Dr Farhana Hoque. He is a scientist at Regional Research Station-Rahara, ICAR-CIFA.
The first on-field demonstration of genetically improved scampi (GI-scampi) in carp-scampi polyculture model was started in West Bengal at Haldia Block from August 2021 by ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIFA) under Pradhan Mantri Matsyo Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) funded project.
A team led by Dr Hoque and Suman Kumar Sahu, Fishery Extension Officer, Haldia visited the four adopted farmers’ field at Haldia on Friday.
East Midnapore is known for its giant freshwater prawn culture. Farmers in the region prefer to culture non-indigenous white leg shrimp Litopenaeusvannamei for higher profits. Incidences of disease, however, are causing a significant production loss. At such as time, the genetically improved scampi has proved a boon for them.
To assess the performance of this newly developed, fast-growing scampi in the farmer’s field, an on-field demonstration programme was initiated in different states of India.
In West Bengal, four farmers: Suvendu Ballav of Barabari village, Krishnaprasad Samanta of Dighasipur village, Subhrajyoti Sahu of Bamunchak village and Pabitra Mukherjee of Sobharampur Debhog village of Haldia block were adopted for the demonstration.
The farmers received inputs of all kinds like manure, lime, fish feed, fertilizer, and Indian major carps for the demonstration.
The seeds of GI-scampi were supplied from ICAR-CIFA Bhubaneswar in August in the presence of Sanjay Das, BDO, Haldia Block, Dr Debabrata Panda, Scientist CIFA, Suman Kumar Sahu, FEO Haldia, Mr Gakul Maji, Karmadhakshya Haldia Panchayat Samity.
“We are extremely happy. We are getting all types of support and guidance from Dr Hoque and FEO sir for scientific polyculture of GI-scampi along with carps from July onwards. We are getting good growth of this scampi and this will help us in making profit. Their constant support even encouraging us to culture other improved varieties of fish”, said Pabitra Mukherjee, one of the adopted farmers.
Suman Kumar Sahu, Fishery Extension Officer Haldia Block said that the Fisheries Department has always supported fish farmers in the development of fish farming and is working to expand eco-friendly scientific fish farming.