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Jaipaiguri,West Bengal/Bhubaneswar, 8 th February 2021( Odisha Samachar )- ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Bhubaneswar, Odisha with its commitment for the aquafarming community in the country hasadded anotherfeatherto itscap by inauguratingOrnamental Fish Farmer Field Schoolatthe fish farm of Sri Bhagirath Roy of Prabhuparavillage,Sadar BlockJaipaiguri,West Bengal.This is an unique farmer field school established by a group of ICAR-CIFA Scientists Dr.B.N.Paul, Dr.S.S.Giri, Dr.S.Adhikari, Dr.R.N.Mandal, Dr.H.K.De and Dr.S.K.Swain for farmer-farmer learning and dissemination of ornamental fish culture technique, for the first time in the country.The schoolenvisages empoweringover 500 ornamental fishfarmersin 20 nearby villages of North Bengalcontributing greatly to extension and advisory services delivery.The field school wasvirtually inaugurated by Sri SagarMehera, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries,Government of India. He appreciated the efforts made by ICAR-CIFA in helping the farmers of remote North Bengal for adopting scientific aquafarming system.Dr.Saroj KumarSwain, Director of ICAR-CIFA while addressing the gathering urged thefarmers and farm women to take up ornamental fish farming and assuredthem technical support from ICAR-CIFA.He mentioned that the AFFS piloted by the institute in Odisha, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh have been extremely popular. Director ICAR-CIFA felicitated Sri Bhagirath Roy, the operator farmer being the role model for the ornamental fish farming community in North Bengal. Dr. S.S. Giri, Head, Fish Nutrition and Physiology Division of ICAR-CIFA and Head, KVK, Khordha, Odishafocussed on role of aquaculture for strengthening rural livelihood.Dr. B.N. Paul, Principal Scientists of ICAR-CIFAplayed instrumental role in establishing the Aquaculture Field School and coordinated the program. Dr. S. Adhikari, Dr.R.N.Mandal, Dr. H.K.De, scientists of ICAR-CIFA also participated in theprogramme and discussed about the importance of ornamental fish. As a token, a packet of ornamental fish seed (sword tail, redcap, molly, gold fish etc.) was distributed to 50 Scheduled Caste farmers.A one-day training programme on ornamental fish farmingwas organised for the farmers, stake holders and state Government officials,maintaining COVID-19 guidelines. The training was attended by 120 farmers and farm women.

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