soybean field

USSEC India Partners with the Indian Government’s Aquaculture Arm at Tilapia Summit 2014

Dr. Anand discusses the benefits of farming tilapia with the Indian aquaculture industry at India’s Tilapia Summit 2014
Dr. Anand discusses the benefits of farming tilapia with the Indian aquaculture industry at India’s Tilapia Summit 2014

USSEC India partnered with the Rajiv Gandhi Centre of Aquaculture (RGCA) to co-organize India’s recent Tilapia Summit 2014.  RGCA is the aquaculture research and development arm of the Government of India (GOI)’s Ministry of Commerce, which has a mandate of bringing in species diversification and technology development in order to boost revenues earned by the country through fish exports and the domestic promotion of aquaculture produced.  USSEC India’s Director for Animal, Aquaculture and Soy Meal program, P.E. Vijay Anand, and USSEC India aquaculture consultant R. Umakanth attended the event, which focused exclusively on tilapia as a candidate species for aquaculture.  About 15 foreign delegates spoke and there were nearly 300 professionals who were eager to learn about farming this fish species.
Although tilapia is the world’s second most popular farmed fish (after Chinese carp), India has yet to make strides on this front, which is a budding opportunity for the utilization of U.S. soy.  USSEC invited potential entrepreneurs and aquaculture industry leaders to attend the tilapia summit.  Dr. Anand made a lead presentation, “Why Tilapia for India?” and argued that tilapia is a good fit for the Indian aquaculture industry.  He explained that if India could produce 100,000 metric tons (MT) of tilapia, it would need 120,000 MT of soy-based feed, which could incorporate 42,000 MT of soy meal.  Dr. Anand also stated that India can easily increase its farming of this fish to reach at least a half million tons because the country has a ready population base to accept the species.  Other benefits of tilapia are that it supports the development of cage culture, it utilizes excess feed capacity, it is a fish that is easily and readily accepted by customers, and it generates healthy revenue.
Dr. Anand explained that USSEC’s Soy in Aquaculture program has ready results, protocols and technology that can be immediately implemented in India without needing many modifications and went on to list 41 reasons in support of the species.  This presentation made a positive impact on the audience and investors.  The expansion of tilapia farming in India would be beneficial to the U.S. soy industry, as tilapia is an excellent feed-taking species and is efficiently grown on a soy protein diet.  The USSEC consultants also distributed a USSEC aquaculture brochure at the India Tilapia Summit to reiterate USSEC’s mission and objectives for the aquaculture industry in India.
USSEC Introduction - Indian Aquaculture