“The future of Indian aquaculture feed industry looks promising, but India has to go in for more species if it has to progress further,” said P.E. Vijay Anand, Technical Director, India Animal Feed Program, American Soyabean Association – International Marketing, on Monday.
Addressing a technical session on the ‘Status of the Indian aquaculture feed industry and future trends' on the second day of ‘Aqua Aquaria 2011,' he said that India invariably relied on two species – carps and pungasius, whereas China and Bangladesh had about 15 species. The dependence on lesser number of species meant more risk.
“The industry is wide and options are many. The industry need not have to reinvent the wheel as Asia is the biggest player in the aquaculture sector. Just do the ranking and see where India is. It will be an eye-opener. We just have to borrow technology from China or Taiwan and adapt it to our conditions. We should have at least seven species,” he said.
He also said that the number of fish feed production mills in the country have gone up to about 10 since 2008 and the installed capacity would be 1.2 million tonnes by 2012.
To improve profitability, he urged the players to reduce dependence on traditional feeds and to go in for modern ones; adopt cage culture and have proper fish processing market.
Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA), the R&D arm of Marine Products Export Development Authority, has established a facility in Vijayawada to produce mono-sex tilapia in two strains, said the Project Manager, S. Vijayakumar.
“Farming of Tilapia is not permitted in the country on commercial basis. After studying the performance, growth and breeding performance of Tilapia in our facility, we will prepare a protocol and send it to the Centre by November,” said another RGCA official.
Some of the farmers responded by saying that India was way behind others in tilapia culture production and it was time to allow commercialisation of it on a big scale.