FAO, midwife to India's top aquaculture centre
When the Government of India moved to put more emphasis on its aquaculture sector in the late 1970s, it turned to an outside agency for assistance: FAO. Institution building has long been an important FAO activity, helping developing countries build up their capacities to develop themselves.
CIFA has its roots in the Pond Culture Division of the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, founded in Orissa State, eastern India in 1949. The Division was later upgraded as the Freshwater Aquaculture Research and Training Centre under an FAO project that ran from 1979 to 1985 with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Government of India funding. The project paid for 14 fellowships for Indian scientists and for 11 consultants to come to give advice and train the highly specialized staff required to give birth to a modern freshwater aquaculture sector.
Further support was obtained through a regional FAO project, financed with US$1.2 million from UNDP and $277 000 from the Indian government, which ran from 1979 to 1987, helping create a Regional Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia. Finally, in 1986 the Freshwater Aquaculture Research and Training Centre attained the status of an independent institute, renamed the Central Institution of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA).
A third project, from 1989 to 1995, provided 16 international fellowships and ten consultancies. Many research breakthroughs were made during this period.
20 August 1998
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