Dr. Ravishankar C.N., Director, ICAR-CIFT, Kochi was deputed to WorldFish, Penang, Malaysia during 26-27 November, 2018 to finalize the strategy document for submission to ICAR, as a part of the Work plan agreement between ICAR and World Fish. WorldFish is one of the 15 CGIAR centers (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research). Recently, WorldFish and ICAR signed a work plan agreement on 3rd May, 2018 to further strengthen the research collaboration between three ICAR Fisheries research institutions (CIFA, CIFRI and CIFT) and the three WorldFish Research programmes. As envisaged in the work plan agreement, ICAR and WorldFish scientific teams have been working on developing a 5-year collaborative research strategy with a detailed implementation plan with the WorldFish sustainable aquaculture, small scale fisheries, and value chains and nutrition research programmes. The 2 days’ Workshop was attended by the DDG (Fisheries) and Directors of CIFA, CIFRI and CIFT. The project aims to improve the food and nutrition security of poor and vulnerable rural households. Improvement of value chains and nutrition with a focus on fish consumption and human nutrition, increasing nutritional impact through aquaculture and inland fisheries, fish products development to enhance fish consumption in women and children are the main thrust areas. The team also visited the facilities at WorldFish Centre and interacted with research teams. Presentations were made by both Indian delegation and also WorldFish teams on the proposed project. Dr. Michael Phillips and Dr. J.K. Jena, DDG (Fisheries) presented country perspective and also highlighted initiatives by both WorldFish and ICAR, respectively. This was followed by presentations by Directors of CIFA, CIFRI and CIFT and also WorldFish team heads on three identified areas of Aquaculture, Small Scale Fisheries and Value Chins and Nutrition. Discussions were held with WorldFish team regarding work plans and activities for the proposed 5 year project on fish value chain and nutrition to be implemented in different districts of India. The main objective decided for ICAR-CIFT is “Development of easy-to-prepare and affordable nutritious fish-based food products in diets targeting children and women and strategies for its implementation”. The major activities proposed to be carried out by ICAR-CIFT are studying the consumption pattern and also to develop appropriate fish based products and incorporate them into the diet of vulnerable population to improve their nutritional status.
The workshop was attended by both ICAR and WorldFish officials. WorldFish team comprised of Dr. Michael Phillips, Programme Director and Management Committee Chair; Dr. Mohan Chadag, Senior Scientist, Aquaculture and Research Lead, India; Dr. Philippa Cohen, Prof. John Benzie, Dr. David Shearer, Dr. Shakuntala Thilsted, Dr. Sharon and Ms. Claire. The Indian delegation included Dr. J.K Jena, Deputy Director General (Fisheries Science), ICAR, New Delhi; Dr. Bindu Pillay, Director, Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA), Bhubaneswar, Odisha; Dr. Basanta Kumar Das, Director, Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI), Barrackpore, West Bengal; Dr Ravishankar C.N, Director, Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Cochin, Kerala and Dr. Sudhir Raizada, Emeritus Scientist, National Bureau of Fisheries Genetic Resources (NBFGR), Lucknow.