GIFT for farmers to boost fish output

Cuttack: The Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department has teamed up with Malaysia-based non-profit research organisation WorldFish to introduce
the farming of Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) in the state to boost fish production and fight malnutrition in rural areas.
The department has recently collected 20,000 GIFT fingerlings from Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture at Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh and provided them to four fish farmers at Basantapur in Jagatsinghpur district.
“We have launched GIFT farming in Jagatsinghpur as a pilot project. WorldFish organisation has assured us to provide technical assistance in this regard. We will introduce GIFT farming in other districts after reviewing the pilot project,” said Director of Fisheries Bijay Ketan Upadhyay.
WorldFish sources said GIFT farming was immensely successful in many countries. Farmers across the globe are growing GIFT to boost fish production and provide affordable protein to poor people. “GIFT variety of fish is disease-resistant and well-known for uniform growth and high survival rate. They attain full growth in five to six months,” said WorldFish regional representative Satish Ranjan Das.
Fisheries department sources said the state government is mulling to extend GIFT farming to 11 more districts within a few days. “We are taking steps to establish a GIFT seedling production centre at a government fish farm at Kausalyaganga near Bhubaneswar. Farmers can produce four tonne GIFT per acre in every six months. The fish variety can be exported to foreign countries,” said a Fisheries Department official.

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