The CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-Food Systems (FISH) signed an agreement with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to establish a collaborative work plan under the memorandum of understanding on aquatic resources research.

The purpose of the work plan is to outline collaborative activities between ICAR and FISH. With a budget of USD 130,750 (INR 85,00,000) from April 2018 to March 2019, FISH and ICAR scientists will produce a comprehensive five-year (April 2019–March 2024) integrated program of research as an output for funding consideration by ICAR.

India is a scaling country for FISH, and the ongoing projects in Odisha, an eastern state on the Bay of Bengal, supported by the Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department, Government of Odisha and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), have been promoting WorldFish technologies (e.g. carp-mola polyculture, the inclusion of nutrient-dense fish in the diets of women and children) that have been tested and validated in WorldFish focal countries such as Bangladesh.

Utilizing Indian scientific expertise

FISH focuses on the interlinked challenges of sustainable aquaculture, small-scale fisheries and the contribution of fish to nutrition and health in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. The vision, mission and research programs of the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (Bhubaneswar), the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (Barrackpore) and the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (Cochin)—all ICAR research institutes—align closely with the objectives of FISH. The collaborative program will define the role and potential impact these research institutes will have within the FISH program. This collaboration will also provide opportunities to utilize Indian scientific expertise in the countries in Asia and Africa where WorldFish works.

Research outputs are expected in aquaculture in the areas of farm performance of improved varieties (e.g. improved carp and freshwater prawn) and the genomics of carp and prawn as well as farming systems and life cycle assessment. Resilient small-scale fisheries will look to enhance fish productivity from wetlands and floodplains as well as nutrient profiling of small indigenous species and their contribution to nutrition in India. Value chain and nutrition research will focus on fish products for the first 1000 days of a child’s life, and the fish consumption patterns of rural and urban consumers.

“Together with ICAR, we will seek to increase the impact of research on aquaculture and fisheries in India,” said WorldFish Director General Gareth Johnstone. “And through the partnership we will together increase the impact of aquaculture and fisheries research on global development goals.”

Published date: 14 May 2018