Dr. Ravishankar C.N., Director, ICAR-CIFT receiving the award from Shri. Narendra Singh Tomar, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Govt. of India
The Central Institute of Fisheries Technology under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Govt. of India), has been crowned the Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institution Award for the year 2018, for its commendable scientific contributions to the fisheries sector. The institute is being honoured with this coveted award for the third time, previously during 2000 and 2006, for its excellent track record in R&D endeavours and extensions activities.
The award instituted by ICAR, is given based on several aspects such as the organizational profile of the institute, scientific/technological/socio-economic potential and overall impact of the research outputs and activities. The award was presented to Dr.Ravishankar C.N., Director, ICAR-CIFT on 16th July 2019, during the 91st ICAR Foundation Day Celebrations at New Delhi by Shri. Narendra Singh Tomar, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Govt. of India in presence Union Ministers of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Shri. Parshottam Rupala and Shri. Kailash Choudhary, and Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary Dare and Director General, ICAR.
Founded in 1957, ICAR - CIFT has proven its excellence in the development of fishing and fish processing technologies. The Institute is the only national centre in the country where research in all disciplines relating to fishing and fish processing is undertaken. During the last 62 years, ICAR-CIFT has been actively involved in innovative research activities, trainings, partnerships and entrepreneurship promotion in the fields of fish harvesting, processing, packaging, product development, quality assurance, fishery by-products, energy conservation technologies, waste management and biotechnological applications.
The Institute received NABL Accreditation (ISO 17025) in 2005, and ISO 9001:2008 certification in 2013. ICAR-CIFT has been recognized as a National Referral Laboratory as well as National Reference Laboratory by FSSAI under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The significant achievements of the Institute have contributed to the overall development of the fisheries industry in India, including marine, inland capture and seafood processing sectors. ICAR-CIFT has played a pivotal role in the technological development and modernization of both harvest and post-harvest sectors in fisheries from its nascent stage, by actively engaging in need-based technology development as well as transfer. The Institute has always been responsive to the dynamic changes that takes place in the fisheries sector and has endeavoured to reframe the strategies and fine-tune the research framework in order to address the emerging challenges.
The ICAR-CIFT office complex located at Willingdon Island, Kochi, commands a prestigious position by virtue of size and location. Strategically situated at the fishery’s industrial hub of Cochin, ICAR-CIFT is easily accessible for all its stakeholders. The Institute has three research centres at Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra), Veraval (Gujarat) and Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).
Last year, ICAR-CIFT has received nation-wide attention, in the wake of large-scale seizure of adulterated fish from the state borders. The ‘CIFTest’– the rapid detection kit for Ammonia and Formaldehyde, developed by ICAR-CIFT, Cochin hogged the limelight as the food safety officers in Kerala seized more than 28,000 kg of chemical-contaminated fish coming into the state using it. The technology became the most disruptive technology in 2018 and played significant role in Operation Sagar Rani, initiated by Kerala State Health and Safety Department and other similar operations carried out by Governments of Goa, Karnataka and North-Eastern states. The institute has been in news for technologies using renewable resources like solar powered boat and energy efficient solar dryers. In association with the central sector schemes on Blue Revolution and Make in India, ICAR-CIFT, Cochin has initiated the design and construction of commercial fishing vessels adhering to international standards. Under the programme, ICAR-CIFT has designed fishing crafts for the governments of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala and Andaman & Nicobar Administration. ICAR-CIFT has developed different craft, gear and fishing methods for the marine and inland sectors, with emphasis on resource conservation and sustainability besides energy conservation and thereby increasing the productivity and thus playing a major role in the modernization of the sector. The institute was instrumental in bringing out BIS standards for fish netting yarns and various fishing gears.
ICAR-CIFT has played a significant role in establishing the seafood processing sector in Kerala by hand-holding it during its initial stages of establishment by providing assistance in processing technologies like freezing and addressing its quality issues. The Institute is also engaged in developing value added products (including ready-to-cook and eat products), byproducts (including high-value ones) from fish and shellfish and developing appropriate packaging for the same. The Institute has also given technical help in establishing and modernizing domestic fish markets including fish waste management which has been taken up by various State agencies through National Fisheries Development Board funding. The institute also carries out research in the fields of anti-microbial resistance, bio-molecules, engineering equipments, energy and water optimization, sensors, nano technology and innovative bio-chemical compounds.
Since its inception, ICAR-CIFT is striving hard to develop appropriate and cost-effective technologies for different segments of the society including the public, fishers, departmental officials and entrepreneurs. The technology transfer programmes of ICAR-CIFT in the fisheries sector have greatly contributed to the development of infrastructure and human resources as well as improvement in quality of products and have helped the country to achieve a covetable position in the global fisheries scenario. The institute has worked for both the high technology needs of the industry and the needs of the traditional fishing sector to improve the socio-economic upliftment of the weaker sections. An Agri Business Incubation (ABI) Centre is also functional at the Institute to ensure commercialization of technologies on a public-private partnership mode. Many entrepreneurs and start-up companies have come up with success business ventures by adopting our technologies on commercial scale. Hundreds of micro, small and medium entrepreneurs have registered as incubatees of the centre and involved in developing innovative product brands and establishing new business ventures.