Chennai, April 10, 2018: Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA), the nodal agency for the development of brackishwater aquaculture in the country today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The Waterbase Limited (Waterbase), a leading manufacturer of high quality shrimp feed in India, for a collaborative programme of eco-friendly shrimp feed technology.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Dr. K. K. Vijayan, Director, CIBA , Mr Varun Thapar, Director and Mr. Ramakanth V. Akula, CEO, The Waterbase Limited.
As part of the MoU, CIBA will collaborate for the testing growth performance and refinement of eco-friendly shrimp feed with Waterbase. The collaboration programme will cover technical collaboration and assistance related to development of ecofriendly Vanami Eco plus feed.
Speaking on the partnership with Waterbase, Dr. K. K. Vijayan said, “India is a major shrimp producing nation with a production of around 6 lakh plus tonnes, and Shrimps contributing over 60% of seafood exports of the country. In farmed shrimp production, the formulated feed is a major recurring cost, which often ranges from 50 to 60 % of the total cost of production and it directly determines the profitability and sustainability. Brackishwater aquaculture is one of the vibrant farming sectors and our research findings have direct applications in the field. We are happy to be partnering with Waterbase, wherein we are looking at transferring the technologies from the lab to the field, where the social benefit is measurable.”
The MoU will involve exchange of information on feed formulations and testing of identified feed ingredients, trial feeds and any other market feed for macro and micro nutritional parameters at CIBA’s Quality Testing Laboratory. CIBA will advise on the specific changes that are needed in feed raw materials / additives / processing technology / formulation, aimed to achieve the desired performance.
“India’s shrimp exports are likely to double to USD 7 billion by 2022, driven by strong demand, high quality, improved product mix and an increase in aquaculture area in our coastal states, even as our Asian rivals battle structural issues and rising domestic consumption. The need of the hour is to prepare ourselves for it, both quality and quantity-wise. For us, this alliance with CIBA comes at the right time. CIBA’s focused research on nutrient requirements of shrimp for more than a decade, expertise in scientiﬁc feed formulation and a database on price and seasonality of locally available ingredients will help us develop eco-friendly and cost-effective shrimp feeds using advanced indigenous feed processing technology,” adds Mr. Ramakanth V. Akula.
CIBA will provide its expertise in raw material sourcing and allow testing in its experimental ponds and commercial ponds. Both CIBA and Waterbase will identify competent technical personnel namely Scientists / Technicians, Chemists, etc. for implementation of the programme. Waterbase will also be able to use CIBA’s technology in its own facilities.
The Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIBA), Chennai, a national institute under the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), has been in the forefront of developing sustainable brackishwater aquaculture technologies in the country, for production of valuable seafood. The focus has been on the technology backstopping in the areas of diversification of brackishwater aquaculture with shellfish and finfish species and developing indigenous technologies, especially on the production of quality seed, feed, aquatic health and farm management.
The Waterbase Limited (incorporated 1987) commenced business in 1993, becoming one of the first companies to enter the organized aquaculture business in India. Waterbase is part of the Karam Chand Thapar Group (KCT Group). Founded in 1929 as a coal mining company, the KCT Group has a highly diversified portfolio of businesses with interests in sectors ranging from coal and infrastructure to real estate, manufacturing and aquaculture. The company is committed not only to continuing the rich business legacy of the Group, but also to significantly build and develop it across the years. Waterbase is focused on manufacturing shrimp feed, processing shrimp and exporting processed shrimp. The company is in the process of setting up the Vannamei Shrimp Hatchery.