Bhubaneswar: A field day on aquaculture was organised at Aquaculture Field School, Sarakana on 24th Feb 2021. A farmers-scientists interface was conducted on this occasion in which a team of scientists of ICAR-CIFA participated. They addressed fish production related queries instantly in local language and collected feedback from the fish farmers as to how they did manage aquaculture during the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 80 fish farmers participated in this event. Farmer representatives from different villages shared their experience with team CIFA. Fish farmers were also made aware about the latest advances in freshwater aquaculture and related enterprises. The event was organised to felicitate Padmashri Batakrushna Sahu as a role model for other fellow farmers in practicing scientific fish farming. Dr. G. S. Saha, I/C, Social Science Section, ICAR-CIFA welcomed the dignitaries and briefed about the experience and vision of establishment of Aquaculture Field School. He mentioned that ICAR-CIFA had piloted the first AFS in Sarakana Fish Farm in 2009. AFS as a model of farmer to farmer extension has spread to several parts of the country.
Sri Sahu was felicitated by Dr. B. P. Mohanty, Asstt Director General (Inland Fisheries), ICAR who presided over the field day. Dr. Mohanty congratulated Shri Sahu for the rare accomplishment and for his long standing association with ICAR-CIFA. Dr. S. K. Swain, Director, ICAR-CIFA, Bhubaneswar during his address urged the fish farmers should follow the advanced practices for sustainable fisheries. He underscored the utility of Aquaculture Field School and encouraged the fish farmers to draw advantage from the school by learning and knowledge sharing with fellow farmers. Field school approach has assumed significance during Covid as mobility and gatherings were restricted. Shri Sahu briefly shared his 40 years of association with fisheries and CIFA. He reminisced how in the initial years scientists of KVK and the institute visited his farm and guided him in breeding and other activities. He said ‘whatever little I achieved is only because of CIFA’.
Shri Raghunath Nayak, Retd. FEO, Balianta block and Shri A. K. Bastia, DFO, Khordha also participated in the field day and discussed about the government schemes and subsidies in aquaculture with the fish farmers. The programme was coordinated Dr. H.K. De, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIFA. Shri D. P. Rath, Technical Officer, ICAR-CIFA proposed formal vote of thanks.