Seaweed Farming – CSIR – CSMCRI Technology


Seaweed Farming – CSIR – CSMCRI Technology

Seaweed Farming

Recently I visited CSIR technofest 2010 showcased by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, New Delhi, at India International Trade Fair in New Delhi, the Capital of India.  In this technofest, I have seen a technology “Seaweeds Farming” which was developed by CSMCRI (Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar, India under the aegis of CSIR, New Delhi, India.

I came to know that at present 900 families are involving in seaweed cultivation in Tamilnadu alone and each cultivator is earning an average of Rs.8000/month.  Among the 900 families, 120 families are cultivating the seaweed with the support of CSMCRI under CSIR – Rural technology programme.

The seaweed is cultivated extensively in Philippines and Indonesia. CSMCRI introduced the Kappaphycus alvarezii seaweed (alternatively known as Eucheuma cottonii) in India more than 15 years ago following the all quarantine protocols.

After acclimatization and laboratory culture, the alga was introduced in the sea in confined conditions—employing a novel bag technology—initially in Gujarat coast and later on in Mandapam, Tamilnadu

A raft made up of bamboos of 10 cm in diameter and 3 m ×3 m size is used for seaweed cultivation.  Fishermen or women get the seaweed seed and put in these rafts for cultivation.  Mud or silt to be removed regularly for the growth of the seaweed and this is the daily work of persons employed.  CSMCRI has transferred this technology to Aquagri P Ltd, New Delhi and this company will purchase seaweeds from the fishermen or women. Both have the agreement for this seaweed cultivation.

Fresh seaweed can be liquefied through mechanical shearing, without addition of any water.  Seaweed gives Liquid fertilizer and gel forming polysaccharide kappa-carrageenan.  Extensive trials have been done on the sap and found significant enhancement in the yields of potato (26%), sugarcane (30-40%), paddy (15-30%), etc.  This liquid fertilizer is very cheap when compared to available similar products.  They is a great hope and demand for this product since it is so much potential for the plant cultivation as fertilizer.

Kappaphycus (seaweed) cultivation is a boon for agriculture, does not compete for land and requires no fertilizers, growth hormones, pesticide, insecticide, herbicide etc.

It is also reported that the crops sprayed with Kappaphycus sap showed high pest resistance compared over control.

Recovery of sap and kappa-carrageenan can be done simultaneously from fresh seaweed.  The sap has been proven to be a potential plant nutrient promoting the agricultural productivity significantly.

Actually this technology is interlinked with manufacturing of liquid fertilizer and simultaneously connection / networking with fishermen or women or co-operatives of these people/ NGOs for the farming of seaweed. Here is seaweed is raw material and it is so important to manufacturing firms of liquid fertilizers.

The below links may be useful for more details and information

http://www.csmcri.org

http://www.csir.res.in

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