Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA) (formerly the Freshwater Aquaculture Research and Training Centre) is an advanced research institute for freshwater aquaculture, established in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. It was founded in 1987 by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi. Its genesis lies in the Pond Culture Division of Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI), Cuttack which started the training center at Kausalyaganga, on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar for Developing and Training on Inland Fishery.
Aquaculture contributes to poverty alleviation as it provides employment to millions of people, both in the sector itself as well as in support services. Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Farming implies some form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production such as regular stocking, feeding and protection from predators etc. Rural aquaculture as a weapon to fight poverty and reduce inequality has received renewed attention in recent years. It depends largely on natural food,which is increased over baseline levels by fertilization and/or use of supplementary feed to complement natural food. Supplementary feed with traditional fish feed material such as groundnut cake, mustard oil cake and rice bran in dough form would enhance fish yield substantially.
Rural aquaculture pertains to the farming of aquatic organisms by small-scale farming house hold or communities, usually by extensive or semi-intensive low-cost production technology appropriate to their resource base. In rural aquaculture there is low level of fish production for household use and family income (Choudhury,1997). It’s production and income potential has largely remained undocumented.The resource-poor base of most farms requires off-farm agro industries inputs to intensify production. This implies use of mainly inorganic fertilizers rather than formulated feed to provide low market value produce affordable to poor consumers. Aquaculture growth can be accelerated in 2 ways - by increasing the area devoted to aquaculture and by intensifying production in existing aquaculture areas. Horizontal expansion of agricultural land is limited. In contrast there is considerable potential to increase area under aquaculture. Vast areas remain to be utilized for aquaculture. Aquaculture may use swamps, saline soils, mangroves that are otherwise, unsuitable for agriculture. It may also use inland aquatic resources such as natural and man made lakes, reservoirs, rivers etc. (Choudhury, 1997).
Researchersin India and elsewhere have demonstrated the impact of rural aquaculture on thelives of poor. In terms of providing nutritious food (fish being the cheapestanimal protein) and creating employment opportunities aquaculture interventionshave proved to be quite useful. It is important that untapped water resourceslying in rural areas are brought under scientific fish farming. Promotion of ruralaquaculture is often plagued by several hindrances, important among these are -non-availability of seed, lack of skill, multiple use of waterbodies, marketingrelated problem etc. It is essential that farmers are provided with easy accessto inputs, skill training and marketing arrangement. This would enable thefarmers to make use of the water resources towards ensuring their nutritionalas well as livelihood security.