World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture is organizing 3rd Pilot session of ‘Five Keys to Safer Aquaculture Products to Protect Public Health’ at ICAR-CIFA, Bhubaneswar during 2-4 Feb 2015. WHO in collaboration with FAO has developed ‘Five Keys to Safer Aquaculture products to protect public health’ to support food safety. It is designed to help the small scale aquaculture producers raise safe and nutritious fish for themselves, their families and for sale in local market. The program is aimed at developing awareness about hygiene, food borne diseases, safe handling of fish to ensure sustainability of safe and nutritious locally grown food produced by small and marginal aquaculture farmers.
The first pilot session was organized in Vietnam in June 2014 and second in Lao in September 2014. The upcoming session will give impetus on five keys such as practicing good personal hygiene, cleaning the pond site, maintaining water quality, keeping fish healthy and equipments, containers clean. The session will be attended by experts from WHO, FAO, Department of Fisheries, Government of Odisha, members from NGO, Self Help Group, Extension Officers, social scientists and officers from Export Council of India. A number of officials from Dept. of Fisheries, Odisha Govt. and small and marginal farmers will be trained by the experts from FAO and WHO regarding five keys along with relevant field visits. The outcome of session would likely result in awareness about hygienic aquaculture practices in aqua-farmers. The expert team will visit aquaculture farmers in Puri and Khurdha districts to witness existing aquaculture practices.
The ‘Third Pilot Session’ was inaugurated by Shri Bishnupada Sethi, IAS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Fisheries & ARD Department, Govt. of Odisha. Dr. I. Karunasagar, International Consultant on Food safety working for FAO, WHO and other international organisations, Ms. Francoise Fontannaz, Technical Officer of World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations and Dr Margaret Miller, Senior Researcher in the University of Maryland, and Dr. P. Krishnamohan, Director, Fisheries also attended the inaugural function. The participants of the workshop on the first day included 15 Assistant fishery officers representing different districts of the state, NGOs working with fish farmers, representatives from export inspection council, OUAT and other ICAR institutes. Dr. P. Jayasankar, Director, ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture welcomed the guests and briefly provided the background information and how ICAR-CIFA is well equipped to handle such functions for the benefit of small scale aquafarmers of the State of Odisha. Shri Bishnupada Sethi expressed his happiness to be a part of such function which would go a long way in improving the health of the farmers as well as consumers alike. He further asked the state fisheries officials to carry forward the message received during the workshop. The inaugural session ended with a vote of thanks by Dr. B. R. Pillai, Pr. Scientist and Head, Aquaculture Production and Environment Div.,CIFA. The inaugural session was followed by a small exhibition in the Business Planning and Development unit (BPD) of ICAR-CIFA to show case the fish farming activities in the state as well as India as well as on safe fish farming. Several technologies brought out by ICAR-CIFA also was shown to the dignitaries.
On day 1 the ‘Five Keys to Safer Aquaculture’ would be presented by the representatives of WHO and FAO to a select ‘trainers’ who will be grass root level workers like state fisheries officers, extension workers, NGO’s working with farmers. On Day 2 the trainers would be presenting the five keys to small scale fish farmers. On day 3 a visit by the WHO and FAO representatives to aquaculture sites in Khurda and Puri is planned.