Queen of carp
are now being made available to the farmers. This generation has shown 100 per cent faster growth in many cases, according to the scientists. This improved variety of rohu is named ‘Jayanti’ as its ﬁrst release in 1997 coincided with the ‘Swarn Jayanti’ or golden jubilee year of Indian independence, attained in 1947. The beneﬁt of Jayanti rohu is that it attains the marketable size – that is, between 1 and 1.5 kg - at least two months earlier than the normal rohu, says Jayasankar, highlighting that ‘by this, the farmer saves the feed bill for two months’. It also offers the farmer an opportunity to start growing the next crop two months earlier than usual, he adds. With disease resilience and a faster growth potential, the improved Jayanti rohu certainly boosts India’s blue economy aspirations. CIFA predicts that, 10 years down the line, at least 30 per cent of rohu cultured in India will be Jayanti rohu. But supplying the farmers with genuine good quality seeds still remains a challenge. Morphologically, the seeds of Jayanti and normal rohu
Clockwise from above: Fish breeder Debajit Barman of Assam holds a wellgrown Jayanti rohu; catching of Indian carps (source: ICAR); Jayanti rohu (source: ICAR); Dr P Jayasankar, director, CIFA; Jayanti rohu in a culture pond (source: ICAR).
look quite similar. It is even difﬁcult to differentiate or segregate seeds where hatcheries breed Jayanti rohu along with normal rohu. In order to ensure that farmers get quality seed, CIFA has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with specialised breeders to set up multiplier units to breed Jayanti rohu exclusively. ‘We hope this will ensure supply of good quality seeds of the improved variety and help in reducing risk on the part of the farmers,’ said Mahapatra. Because there is a constant demand for rohu in the market and the Jayanti rohu grows faster and is less susceptible to diseases, it brings huge possibilities for freshwater aquaculture in India, said Denajit Barman, who has recently signed the MoU with CIFA for a multiplier unit in Assam’s Nalbari district. Seed supplier Nayanmani Talukdar, an associate of Debajit, said: ‘I recently supplied seeds to farmers in Manipur and Maharashtra and there is still more demand.’ The demand is not limited to India alone. South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka have also shown interest in Jayanti rohu. But, according to experts, it cannot be supplied to any foreign country without certiﬁcation from the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) as it is a genetically improved variety. Once the NBA certiﬁcation is obtained, Jayanti rohu can become the queen of freshwater aquaculture in the subcontinent, Mahapatra hopes. FF
Serving Worldwide Aquaculture Since 1977