ICAR-CIFA develops genetically improved strain of freshwater prawn

Five multiplication hatcheries have already been selected to reach 25,000 ha under freshwater prawn farming by 2026.

Credits: Hatchery Feed & Management
July 26, 2023

Scientists from the ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIFA) in India developed CIFA-GI SCAMPI®, a genetically improved strain of freshwater prawn (scampi), Macrobrachium rosenbergii.

In 2007, ICAR-CIFA initiated a collaborative project with WorldFish, Malaysia to implement a systematic selective breeding program to develop a fast-growing strain of freshwater prawn. The breeding program spanned 14 generations and involved the selection of freshwater prawn populations sourced from geographically diverse regions of India, including Gujarat, Kerala, and Odisha. Through rigorous genetic selection protocols, ICAR-CIFA developed a genetically improved fast-growing strain named CIFA-GI Scampi®, which received official registration in 2020.

Prime Minister Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) has supported the initiative with Rs 4 crores (USD 488,000) to ICAR-CIFA to upscale the genetic selection program and strengthen the seed value chain through the supply of improved broodstock to a network of multiplier hatcheries.

“Meanwhile, ICAR-CIFA is also demonstrating the polyculture of scampi with the carp culture. In one of the many demonstrations, Mr. Bata Krushna Jena from Odisha's Jajpur District has also reported exceptional results, yielding 950 kg/ha of CIFA-GI scampi and 7,530 kg/ha of carps in just seven months. This step exemplifies the success and potential of carp-scampi polyculture, offering promising opportunities for fish farmers across the state” said Dr B.R. Pillai, principal investigator of the PMMSY Scampi Project.

“The scampi production in the country has experienced a remarkable 2.5-fold increase, soaring from 8,303 to 21,317 tonnes in the last year. This notable progress demonstrates the potential for further growth in scampi production across the country. To support the rapid expansion, five scampi hatcheries have been selected as multiplier hatcheries by ICAR-CIFA. These hatcheries are responsible for producing CIFA-GI SCAMPI® seeds and supply them to the farmers. We are adding more hatcheries to our network to reach an ambitious target of bringing 25,000 ha under scampi farming by 2026,” said Dr P.K. Sahoo, director of ICAR-CIFA.