Sh. Giriraj Singh, Hon'ble Mnister visit to MARS , Mandapam

Sh. Giriraj Singh, Union Minister of Fisheries, Dairy and Animal Husbandry visited CSIR-Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSIR-CSMCRI) Marine Algal Research Station, Mandapam, Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu on 23rd January 2021. He was accompanied by Dr Rajeev Ranjan, Secretary, Dr Balaji, Join Secretary Dept. of Fisheries, Dr. K. Gopal, Principal Secretary, Department of Fisheries, Government of Tamil Nadu and many others from the State.  During his visit, Union Minister has overseen ‘Seaweed Seedling Production Facility’ a state-of-the-art and first-of-its-kind facility in the country established by CSIR-CSMCRI at Mandapam. He took a round of the exhibition of live seaweeds inquisitively arranged at MARS laboratory and explored tissue culture laboratory where the plantlets of seaweeds generated through clonal propagation and spores are being maintained. He has expressed satisfaction for the R & D work being undertaken to produce viable germplasm for the benefit of coastal rural fishermen.  He further suggested to work along with Ministry and State Fisheries for scale-up in large amounts and emphasized about entrepreneurs participation extensively in this domain. He later visited ‘Experimental Seaweed Cultivation Farm’ of CSIR-CSMCRI at Thonithurai and launched the beneficiary oriented project ‘Pilot-scale seed production of Kappaphycus alvarezii for promoting extensive farming along Tamil Nadu coast"  sanctioned under Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY). In his welcome speech Dr Kannan Srinivasan, Director, CSIR-CSMCRI stated that institute takes pride in being first in the country for pioneering Kappaphycus alvarezii cultivation, heralding an era of commercial seaweed farming in India. He also informed that this technology alone has provided sustainable alternative livelihood especially fisherwomen in Tamil Nadu for the past 15 years. Dr Eswaran, Scientist In-Charge MARS, Mandapam mentioned that the expected production of upcoming seed farm through this project is ca. 300 tons which can cater the need of one hundred and fifty cultivators for implementing extensive farming, as an initiating effort in realizing the target set for seaweed production in the state. The Hon’ble Minister then distributed the elite seed produced from the cultivation farm to women beneficiaries from Ramanathapuram, Pudukkottai Tuticorin district. In his brief speech, Sh. Singh stressed the importance of seaweed cultivation for improving the quality of life of women members of self-help groups in Tamil Nadu. He has interacted with women seaweed growers as well as entrepreneurs for discussing the issues pertaining to seaweed cultivation and processing.