First ornamental aquaculture field school inauguarated at Prabhupara

Jaipaiguri: ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Bhubaneswar, Odisha with its commitment for the aquafarming community in the country has added another feather to its cap by inaugurating Ornamental Fish Farmer Field School at the fish farm of Sri Bhagirath Roy of Prabhu para village,Sadar Block Jaipaiguri,West Bengal. This is an unique farmer field school established by a group of ICAR-CIFA Scientists Dr.B. N. Paul, Dr.S.S. Giri, Dr.S. Adhikari, Dr. R.N. Mandal, Dr. H.K. De and Dr.S.K.Swain for farmer-farmer learning and dissemination of ornamental fish culture technique, for the first time in the country. The school envisages empowering over 500 ornamental fish farmers in 20 nearby villages of North Bengal contributing greatly to extension and advisory services delivery. The field school was virtually inaugurated by Sri Sagar Mehera, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries, Government of India. He appreciated the efforts made by ICAR-CIFA in helping the farmers of remote North Bengal for adopting scientific aqua farming system. Dr.Saroj Kumar Swain, Director of ICAR-CIFA while addressing the gathering urged the farmers and farm women to take up ornamental fish farming and assured them technical support from ICAR-CIFA. He mentioned that the AFFS piloted by the institute in Odisha, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh have been extremely popular. Director ICAR-CIFA felicitated Sri Bhagirath Roy, the operator farmer being the role model for the ornamental fish farming community in North Bengal. Dr. S.S. Giri, Head, Fish Nutrition and Physiology Division of ICAR-CIFA and Head, KVK, Khordha, Odisha focussed on role of aquaculture for strengthening rural livelihood. Dr. B.N. Paul, Principal Scientists of ICAR-CIFA played instrumental role in establishing the Aquaculture Field School and coordinated the program. Dr. S. Adhikari, Dr.R.N. Mandal, Dr. H.K. De, scientists of ICAR-CIFA also participated in the programme and discussed about the importance of ornamental fish. As a token, a packet of ornamental fish seed (sword tail, redcap, molly, gold fish etc.) was distributed to 50 Scheduled Caste farmers. A one-day training programme on ornamental fish farming was organised for the farmers, stake holders and state Government officials, maintaining COVID-19 guidelines. The training was attended by 120 farmers and farm women.

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