At the 5th International Symposium on Cage Aquaculture in Asia, USSEC Deputy Regional Director – Asia Subcontinent P E Vijay Anand and R Umakanth, USSEC Aquaculture Consultant – India, outlined the organisations strategy and plans for the sector.
Dr S Ayyappan, director general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, recognized USSEC’s market research and forward strategy for aquaculture and stated that cage farming systems are still in their infancy, so India does not yet have much to showcase to the rest of Asia. However, the Indian government is supportive of the sector and stakeholders were urged to speed up their aquaculture plans.
P E Vijay Anand reflected on the fact that USSEC has played a major role in transforming traditional farming practices into feed-based farming. As a result of this, India has developed the potential to supply 2.8 million tons (MT) of feed of which only 1.54 MT was actually marketed in 2015, relying on 400 thousand metric tons (TMT) of soybean meal.
He outlined the capability of Indian feed mills to produce good feed for the development of cage culture in India and referenced USSEC’s Low Volume High Density (LVHD) and ocean cage aquaculture technologies (OCAT) technologies that are ready for use.
Dr Anand and Mr Umakanth suggested that India faces some serious constraints in feed and soy, such as a lack of feed-consuming fish species, weakness in hatchery technology of new species, low fish consumption, lack of cold chain capabilities, and a lack of technology to produce high value species.
They concluded by saying that the US Soy industry has helped develop aquaculture technologies and worldwide aquaculture strategies that can be offered to developing countries to help transform their industries into profitable and sustainable models.