Bhubaneswar, August 31 (LocalWire): The Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA), an Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) run institute, has introduced the ninth generation of genetically improved Jayanti Rohu in the freshwater aquaculture ponds, giving a boost to the commercial pisciculture sector.
“Selective breeding of Rohu has been initiated for the first time by ICAR-CIFA in collaboration with the Institute of Aquaculture Research, Norway to genetically improve Rohu for higher growth as it grows slower than the major carps,” Bhubaneswar-based CIFA director Bindu Pillai said.
“The Rohu has been chosen as the candidate species for the selective breeding status of fish as its consumer preference is very high in a state like Odisha,” she said.
According to the research report, the base population of the selective breeding of Rohu was initiated from five riverine sources and ICAR-CIFA stock was added as the sixth source.
Through the combined selection method, selective breeding was undertaken. It has shown a genetic gain of 18% per generation for growth trait after nine generations of selective breeding.
Improved Rohu was tested in different agro-climatic regions, including Odisha and Bengal.
In all the field testing centers, improved Rohu showed superior growth efficiency over local hatchery stocks.
The research and development reports also indicate that genetically improved seed can be harvested obtaining a higher yield per unit area and it is not going to affect the indigenous species under cultivation.
The adoption of genetically improved seeds will increase fish production, enhance profitability, lower fish price, increase consumption and improve the economy of fish farmers.
Jayanti Rohu is marked by negligible hybrid vigour growth with fat contents.
Field trials and on-farm trials also confirm about the growth potential of the fish variety. It takes two months less time to attain marketable size. It has disease-resistant traits.
“The cost of production is not very high since it does not require high protein feed and can be cultivated with locally made plant-based feed.
It’s perfectly healthy for human consumption as no genetically modified organism is traced in these species,” Pillai said.
Under the dissemination programme, ICAR-CIFA has distributed over two crore Rohu seeds (spawns) to 16 states last year.
“While selective breeding is one the finest tool to improve the genetic status of fish, genetically improved varieties, including plant, animal and fish require management to get the full benefit of its extra performance, and Jayanti Rohu is no exception,” the expert stated, adding that to realise its yield to the optimum level, management practices like proper stocking density, balance feed and health management are essential.