An awareness programme on Best Management Practices in shrimp culture was organised by the Central Institute of Brackish Water Aquaculture (CIBA), Chennai, at Avarikadu village in Thalainayar recently.

The programme conducted under the aegis of NABARD focused on issues ranging from methods in the preparation and management of ponds, qualitative seed stocking, feed, soil and water management, and bio-security measures in successful shrimp farming.

The initiative was part of the ‘E-extension strategy for ensuring knowledge-led rural growth' of NABARD under its Rural Innovation Fund (RIF).

The BMP initiative sought to promote shrimp farming by addressing various challenges faced by farmers including controlling outbreak of diseases, environmental and social consequences of shrimp farming, and harnessing Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in marketing and trading of shrimps.

Addressing the session, D.Deboral Vimala, Senior Scientist-CIBA and principal researcher of the project elaborated on the current practices adopted by shrimp farmers here in Nagapattinam. According to Ms.Vimala, the project entails information dissemination via mobile phones and kiosk, as both are effective ICT tools. The information on BMPs will be made available to farmers in the form of publications in vernacular languages, training and orientation, and through other extension programmes.

The advisory session also involved sharing of BMPs adopted by successful shrimp farmers in controlling diseases. K.Venugopal, Assistant General Manager, NABARD, Nagapattinam and P.Ravichandran, principal scientist and head, Crustacean Culture Division, CIBA, took part. The one-day interface between farmers and scientists also had a technical session on BMPs, with over 150 shrimp farmers attending the programme. Scientists from CIBA, P.Ravichandran, T.Ravisankar, M.Kumaran,.R. Saraswathy, P. Mahalakshmi .Ezhil Praveena, and state coordinator of National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA) Manikandan were the resource persons for the programme.