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Breakthrough Research To Increase Production

by 5m Editor
8 June 2011, at 1:00am

INDIA - Seafood exports are set to rise in line with the remarkable breakthrough for ensuring the supply of high quality all male Scampi seeds.

April 2011 saw the Scampi Broodstock Development Project of RGCA successfully develop the first proven Neofemale in the country and, also achieved production of all male progeny of the Giant fresh water prawn (scampi- Macrobrachium rosenbergii).

This outstanding achievement is unmatched by any research organisation in the nation so far.

The technology developed at RGCA involves sex reversal of healthy scampi males into functional females (called as Neofemales) through micro surgical interventions and crossing these females with normal males to produce all male progeny.

This technology, which does not involve any kind of genetic manipulations or hormonal treatments, has the potential of increasing the unit area production by around 40 per cent.

One of the major challenges faced by scampi farmers today is that the differential growth (among males and females) causes low survivals and poor yields.

To overcome this, Scampi farmers presently segregate males and females painstakingly at the farm and grow only males that grow to larger sizes in quicker time when compared to the females.

Therefore, the technology now developed by RGCA could easily resolve this major challenge of differential growth faced by the Scampi farmers and provide the much needed boost to revive the Scampi farming in the country.

Having developed the technology for all male Scampi production, the project is now just a step away from large scale production of Neofemales.

Once this is achieved, the project would be able to ensure the supply of high quality all male Scampi seeds to the industry resulting in elevating the unit area production by around 40 per cent as well as boosting up the overall Scampi Aquaculture production from the country.

As a result, the increased scampi export from the country will improve the economic benefits to the farmers.

The Giant Fresh water Prawn is an important export commodity with great demand in the International Seafood market.

This species also has great potential for Aquaculture in India and it can be farmed in inland areas with good fresh water resources.

However, in the wake of several technical problems that besieged the industry, the Aquaculture production of this species in the country declined from a high of 43,000 tons in 2005 to 4000 tons in 20010-11.

Marine products account for around 1.1 per cent of the total export earnings for India. Around 7.53 Lakhs tons of Seafood worth around Rs. 12100 Crores ($2.68 billion) has been exported from India during 2010-11.

As a part of this project RGCA has also completed a diallel crossing experiment for the development of an improved strain of Scampi that performs well in farming conditions.

The development of all male seeds would be taken up from this strain to maximize the benefits to the industry. It is envisaged that the project would be able to produce and supply all male fresh water prawn seeds on commercial basis within next two years.

The technology for all male Scampi seed production would also be passed on to the Scampi hatcheries/entrepreneurs across the country.

5m Editor