Union Minister inspects fish farm near Kavanur

Giriraj Singh enquires about possibility of replicating such projects in other areas

Giriraj Singh, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, on Sunday inspected a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) Tilapia farming at Therkkupethampatti near Kavanur in the district.

Accompanied by Rajeev Ranjan, Secretary, Union Ministry of Fisheries, and K. Balaji, Joint Secretary, he inspected Svara Biotechnovations run by two fisheries professionals, S. Vaitheeswaran and S. Alagu Ravi.

The farm, started in 2014, has been raising three strains of Tilapia โ€“ genetically improved farmed Tilapia (GIFT), Chitralada Tilapia and Red Tilapia. โ€œWe had set up our unit with a hatchery to produce 3.5 million seeds and a demonstrative table size farm that produces 25 tonnes of fish using funding from the National Fisheries Development Board,โ€ said Mr. Vaitheeswaran.

After going around the farm and the hatchery, the Minister enquired about the possibility of replicating such projects in other areas of the country. The entrepreneurs explained to the Minister that the RAS and biofloc methods of aquaculture used the minimum amount of water in comparison to traditional agriculture.

โ€œRAS Tilapia farming was ideally suited for areas where water is scarce and market for fish is good,โ€ Mr. Vaitheeswaran said.

The farm has market for its seeds across the country, while its fish is being sold in Madurai district.

โ€œThis profitable venture also helps meet the protein requirement of the people as fish has balanced nutritional values when compared to other meats like mutton and chicken. Besides, Tilapia costs just โ‚น200 a kg,โ€ he added.

Dr. Rathinaraj, Executive Director of National Fisheries Development Board, Dr. V. Kripa, Member-Secretary, Coastal Aquaculture Authority, J. Jayakanthan, Commissioner of Fisheries, and Prabavathy, Deputy Director (Fisheries), were present.

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