KOCHI: The Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean sciences (Kufos) has decided to join hands with Coop Cooperative, an international agency for promotion of organic farming worldwide, to study the prospects of organic shrimp cultivation utilising the rich mangrove resource available in the State’s backwaters.
The initiative is the first organised attempt to conduct organic shrimp farming in Kerala.
On Monday, Gerhard Zurlutter, representative of the Switzerland-headquartered organisation, held a discussion with the varsity authorities in this regard. Coop Cooperative has offered its support to the Kufos to go ahead with the model shrimp farming project.
Zurlutter visited farms and ponds of the Kufos and reviewed the prospects of organic shrimp farming. He also visited the ponds and grow-outs at the Kufos Fisheries Station at Puthuveype. According to Zurlutter, organic shrimp farming could be done successfully by making use of natural mangroves or by planting mangroves along the backwaters and ponds. The Fisheries Station is a bastion of mangrove diversity, comprising rare varieties, and is considered the most suitable location to start organic shrimp farming.
As part of promoting organic farming, the university will conduct studies on the available resources such as backwaters and mangroves, and review the trade value, growth rate, availability of seeds and interests of shrimp farmers for making the project a success.
If conditions are favourable, the Kufos would conduct a pilot farming to develop a suitable model. Later, the university will function as a nodal agency to introduce the model among shrimp farmers in the State.
Kufos Pro-vice-chancellor K Padmakumar, registrar V M Victor George, director of Research K V Jayachandran and directors of various schools under the varsity were present at the preliminary meeting.