Ernakulam KVK under ICAR-CMFRI organises Millet and Fish festival
Ernakulam Krishi Vigyan Kendra functioning under the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CMFRI) organised a three-day Millet and Fish festival at ICAR-CMFRI, Kochi, Kerala from 28th to 30th December 2023. The festival, held in line with the observance of the International Year of Millets-2023, had its focus on creating awareness about the rich nutritional value and health benefits of millets as well as their harmonious fusion with fish for a balanced diet. The event also aimed to facilitate the development of a robust market value chain within Kerala for millets grown by farmers outside the state.The festival was inaugurated by Dr C Tara Satyavathi, Director of ICAR-Indian Institute of Millets Research, Hyderabad. Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of ICAR-CMFRI presided over the function. Dr L Narasimha Murthy, Chief Executive of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) was the Guest of Honour at the inaugural function. The fest featured a variety of activities, including millet and fish food festival, buyer-seller meet, live fish sale, sale of millets and millet-based products, millet cookery show, millet recipe contest, technology exhibition, nutrition and health talks, seminars and panel discussion.
An array of nutritionally beneficial and healthy fusion dishes of millet-fish combination was available across the food stalls, providing the public with the opportunity to savour these wholesome dishes and understand their nutritional and health benefits. It showcased delightful delicacies such as kodo millet-shrimp biryani, little millet-seafood sadya, octopus fry, seaweed halwa, pearl millet smoothie, millet sweats, ragi-fish sausage, millet porridge with shrimp, etc. drawing food enthusiasts from all walks of life. A special highlight of the food festival was the Karnataka vegetarian millet food stall, run by a team of 12 farmers, including women, from Krishi Vigyan Kendras of Belagavi and Gadag districts of north Karnataka. Their offerings included mouthwatering dishes like bajra bread, finger millet poori, ragi ball, millet snacks and sweets.Led by experts from the KVKs Belgavi and Gadag districts of Karanataka, the cookery show unveiled methods of preparing several millets, emphasising the importance of cooking these nutricereals in a way that keeps the nutritional potentials of millets in their full form. The recipe contest featured a wide range of millet-fish combo dishes. Innovations like fish nirwana, millet khawa and multi-millet steam cake, different varieties of millet biryani were the highlight of the contest that brought out creativity as well as culinary expertise of the participants.A Spice Expo-cum-Buyer-Seller Meet sponsored by ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR) was also held at the festival. It offered an opportunity for millet farmers, farmer producer companies, self-help groups and agri-startups alike to forge business deals with consumers and traders. Spice farmers' producer organisations and start-ups associated with the ICAR-IISR and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) also participated in the buyer-seller meet.
An entrepreneurship meet held at the fest unveiled promising business opportunities in areas such as millet processing, value addition, branding, packing and marketing. Information on funding support for budding entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, technology incubation facilities and services for food entrepreneurship being offered by various institutes under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) were discussed at the session. A panel discussion at the fest highlighted that increased efforts to promote and popularise the millet products should continue even after the International Year of Millets in 2023.ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Kozhikode, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, National Fisheries Development Board, Hyderabad, ICAR-Indian Institute of Millets Research, Hyderabad, and ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Kochi among many others were partners of the event.
Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying unveils ICAR CMFRIs study on Marine Fish Stock Status of India 2022
Shri Parshottam Rupala, Hon’ble Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has unveiled a remarkable study report by the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CMFRI) on 31st August 2023 during the ‘Sagar Parikrama phase VIII at Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu.The report titled ‘Marine Fish Stock Status of India 2022’ reveals that India’s marine fish stock is healthy and sustainable. According to the study, a resounding 91.1% of the 135 fish stocks assessed in 2022 were deemed healthy, marking a significant milestone in India's efforts to maintain the sustainability of its marine fisheries. The report also highlighted the substantial reduction in unsustainable practices, with just 4.4% of the stocks facing overfishing.These findings are poised to substantiate India's position at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and are anticipated to have a favourable impact on the country's stance in international trade negotiations. This report is also expected to be a game-changer in India’s seafood exports as sustainability has emerged as a key criterion in the global seafood trade. Minister Shri. Rupala also released ICAR-CMFRI’s special publication titled ‘Good Management Practices in Seaweed Farming’ on the occasion. ICAR-CMFRI has identified 333 prospective seaweed farming sites covering 23,950 hectares, aimed at horizontal expansion of seaweed cultivation. India has a seaweed production potential of 9.88 million t wet weight per year while the current production stands at merely 52,107 t wet weight per year. Seaweed farming has the potential to provide revenue up to Rs. 13.28 lakhs per hectare in a year on a dry weight basis.
On the previous day, 30th August 2023, Union Minister Shri. Prashottam Rupala visited the Vizhinjam Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI, Vizhinjam, Kerala. Addressing the gathering at the Centre, the Minister emphasised that offshore cage farming is the immediate focus of the country using bigger cages. “Cage fish farming is to be expanded to the offshore waters with better cage designs having a size of 30 diameters or above that can accommodate lakhs of juveniles”, Shri Rupala said. He added that ICAR-CMFRI should spearhead research and development efforts in creating these advanced cages. The Minister also urged ICAR-CMFRI to expand seed production technologies for finfishes to all the coastal states utilising the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode. Shri Parshottam Rupala also underscored the untapped potential of Pearl Oyster production, urging ICAR-CMFRI to take a proactive role in scaling up its production in a bigger way. Dr L Murugan, Hon’ble Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying and Shri. V Muraleedharan, Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs accompanied Shri Parshottam Rupala.
Shri. Abhilaksh Likhi IAS, Secretary, to the Department of Fisheries, Govt. of India also visited the Vizhinjam Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI on 31st August 2023. He said that the Central Government is keen on developing bivalve farming, including mussels, edible oysters, pearl oysters and clams in the country under its PMMSY scheme. He appreciated the efforts of ICAR-CMFRI and its Vizhinjam Centre, which has been at the forefront of providing training to the fish farmers of Kerala in ornamental fish culture and cage culture.
Refresher Workshop on “ Finfish and Shellfish Species Identification” organised by the Mandapam Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI
Mandapam Regional Centre of the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) organised a five-day Refresher Workshop on “Finfish and Shellfish Species Identification” in Hybrid mode from February 12th to 16th, 2024. A total of 20 participants from the Chennai, Tuticorin, and Mandapam regions attended the training. Dr G. Tamilmani, Senior Scientist and Head-in-Charge, inaugurated the training and briefed on the importance of marine fish landing data collection. Dr. J. Jayasankar, Head, FRAEED gave the inaugural address. The training included theory and practical classes taken by Shri.M. Rajkumar (Identification of Shrimp, Crab, Lobster, Stomatopod, Cephalopods, Gastropods, and Bycatch Resources), Dr. L. Remya (Demersal Resources), Dr. R. Vinothkumar (Pelagic Resources), and Dr. Shoba Joe Kizakudan (Sharks). Field visits to Mandapam South and North fish landing centres and Pamban Therkuvadi for species identification were also arranged. The species identification skills of the participants were evaluated at the beginning and end of the workshop.
The workshop concluded with a valedictory function on February 16th 2024. Dr. G. Tamilmani, Senior Scientist and Head-in-Charge, delivered the valedictory remarks and distributed the certificates. Dr. J. Jayasankar, Head, FRAEED, and Dr. Shoba Joe Kizakudan, Head, FFD and Principal Investigator, shared their remarks about the workshop. Dr. L. Remya proposed the vote of thanks. Shri. M. Rajkumar, Scientist (Shellfish Fisheries Division), Dr. L. Remya, Scientist (Finfish Fisheries Division), MRC of ICAR-CMFRI, and Dr. R. Vinothkumar, Scientist (Finfish Fisheries Division), TRS of ICAR-CMFRI, were the Coordinators. This Refresher Workshop was organised under the ongoing in-house project “Resource assessment and management framework for sustaining marine fisheries of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry” (PEL/RMS/08).