SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC) has organized a SAARC Regional Consultation on ‘Farm-made feeds for sustainable aquaculture development in South Asia: opportunities, challenges and policy intervention’ in Kathmandu, Nepal during 10-12 October 2017. The program was jointly organized by the SAC, Dhaka and Ministry of Agricultural Development, DOA/DoFD, Nepal. Dr. Shiba Shankar Giri, Senior Program Specialist (Fisheries), SAC, Dhaka was the program coordinator and led the SAARC delegation to Kathmandu. The National Focal-point Experts of the SAARC member states, Mr. Md. Goljar Hossain of Bangladesh, Mr. Druk Pola of Bhutan, Ms. I. Rani Kumudini of India, Mr. Hussain Ahmed of Maldives, Mr. Bhagwat Prasad of Nepal, Mr. Jahan Sher Khan of Pakistan, Mr. Don Ananda Athukorala of Sri Lanka and Dr S. S. Giri of SAC were in the delegation. Mr. Baikuntha Adhikari, Program Director, Directorate of Fisheries Development, and Mr. Prabesh Singh Kunwar, Senior Fisheries Development Officer, DoFD, Nepal, respectively were the local coordinator and co-coordinator of the consultation meeting. The regional consultation was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Ram Krishna Yadav, Minister for Agriculture Development, Nepal as the chief guest and Dr. Suroj Pokhrel, Secretary, Ministry of Agricultural Development and Dr. Baidya Nath Mahato, Executive Director, Nepal Agricultural Research Council as the special guests.
The objectives of these three day regional consultation were: to prepare an inventory of feed ingredients, their nutritive values and farm-made feed production and feeding practices followed in aquaculture in south Asian region; and to realize the importance of farm-made feeds for small-scale aquaculture and policy interventions for technological and financial support to small-scale farmers. The consultation meeting was attended by more than 30 participants from different institutions and organizations from Nepal and the SAARC member countries. In successive technical sessions, eight country status paper and many oral presentations were made on farm-made fish feeds, food-feed scenario in South Asia, aquaculture systems and sustainability issues, capacity development in fish feeds and aquaculture and policy issues related to the theme. This was followed by separate working group discussion and policy recommendation for the SAARC Region drafted.
After the seminar, the participants had occasion to visit the trout farms in Nepal on 12th October and to further continue their discussions.