Research Achievements of ICAR-CIFA

ICAR-CIFA is a premier research Institute on freshwater aquaculture in the country under the aegis of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi. With the mission of ‘Excellence in research for developing sustainable and diversified freshwater aquaculture practices for enhanced productivity, quality, water use efficiency and farm income’, and a vision of ‘ Making Indian freshwater aquaculture globally competitive through eco-friendly and economically viable fish production systems for livelihood and nutritional enhancement in fresh water aquaculture production and productivity. The institute, has over the years, developed several technologies that have made a significant positive impact on freshwater aquaculture production. The significant technologies of ICAR-CIFA are detailed below.

Genetically Improved rohu ‘Jayanti’

Jayanti rohu is an improved breed of rohu fish, the most preferred major carp. It was developed through selective breeding, form five different populations of rohu form North Indian rivers.  Jayanti rohu is the first genetically improved fish in India and was extensively field tested in Kausalyaganga State fish farm (Odisha), Vijayawada (AP), Rahara (West Bengal), Ludhiana (Punjab), and Thanjavur (Tamul Nadu). After seven generations of selective breeding the average response to selection per generation in final body weight was 17 percent. Apart from growth, disease resistance against bacteria Aeromondas hydrophila was also included in the rohu breeding program from the year 2004 and the resistant rohu is ready and undergoing farm trails in Andhra Pradesh. Dissemination of improved rohu to different parts of India is under progress. Annually about 3 to 4 crores of spawn of this improved variety are supplied to the sector. It is hoped that mechanisms like establishment of more multiplier hatcheries Fish Brood Bank (NFFBB) in Odisha would pave the way for increased dissemination of improved variety of fish seeds to the farming community.


FRP portable hatcheries

Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) carp hatchery, designed and developed by this institute has proved to be a very effective tool in quality carp seed production in the country. It can be transported, installed and operated in remote places to ensure easy and timely availability of in seeds. FRP hatchery is suitable for fish breeding in field conditions and designed for the breeding of 10-12kg of female carps in one operation producing 1-1.2 million spawn. So far, more than 350 units of this hatchery are in use in 26 states across the country. Another portable hatchery has been designed and developed for magur breeding and seed production. It includes egg incubation and hatching tanks made of FRP. The technology creates a suitable environment for high hatching percentage and maximum 50,000 eggs can be incubated at a time. Both the hatcheries are marketed by M/s M.R.Aquatech, Bhubaneswar, and Odisha.


CIFABROOD is an exclusive carp brood stock diet rich in adequate nutrients. It ensures quality of the carp seed, and advances gonad growth and maturation and facilitates early spawning. It is suitable for multiple/ repeated field trails. Recently this product has been commercialized and is marketed by M/s Aishrya Aquaculture Pvt.Ltd., Naihati, West Bengal. The firm is flooded with demands for the product and has gained substantial economic gain right in the first year of commercialization.


CIFAX is a chemical formulation and the first commercialized technology of ICAR-CIFA. It prevents and cures the ulcerative diseases of freshwater fishes. ICAR-CIFA re-commercialized CIFAX to M/s Agrawal Trading Company, Chhattisgarh for Rs.227 lakhs for manufacturing, distribution and marketing the technology throughout the India. It is popular among the fish farmers and is doing well in the market since Last 16years. It has become a boon to the fish farmers for preventing and treating ulcer diseases of fishes. It controls the bacterial infections in freshwater fishes. Farmers across India have been benefitted by its application.


This is a manually operated handy cryofreezer for gamete cryopreservation of fishes. This is suitable and advantageous in terms of liquid nitrogen use, size of the unit, on-farm utilization and easy operation. It is helpful in maintaining the temperature of the sample up to -196c. This product marketed by M/s Biotechnika Bhubaneswar.

Immunoboost C

Immunoboost-C is an immune stimulant to improve brood fish health and seed production. It modulates the fish immunity against microbial diseases and has been proven through extensive trials conducted at many aquaculture regions in India. This preparation is marketed by M/s Star Aqua Lab, Medinapore, West Bengal.


CIFACURE is used for controlling bacterial and fungal infections of ornamental fishes. This product can be very well used in the aquarium and other outdoor tanks. It can control many bacterial diseases like hemorrhagic septicemia, ulcers, fin rot, eye disease and fungal infections. This product is marketed by M/s Durga enterprises, Bhubaneswar, Odisha.


“Starter-M” is nutritionally balanced and highly palatable for magur fry, which ensures faster growth and high larval survival. It is stable in aquatic environment.

Spot Agglutination Kit

This kit is useful in the diagnosis of bacterial gill disease, Aeromoniasis and Edwardsiellosis in fish through detection of antibodies. It is quite user friendly for common fish farmers.

White Tail Disease Diagnosis Kit for Freshwater Prawn

White tail disease detection kit, based on nested PCR method for RNA segment II is a sensitive and specific diagnostic tool that can detect carriers in early or latent infections. It detects up to four virus particles and is highly sensitive and specific for virus detection. The  entire procedure can be completed within a day.

Rohu catla hybrid identification kit

Hybridization of principal carp species is counterproductive to industry as well as natural biodiversity conversation. The PCR-based kit developed by the Institute can unambiguously detect hybrids of rohu and catla at any life stages.

Mechanical Pond Applicator (MPA)

Mechanical pond applicator mechanically spread the inputs uniformly in the manpower requirement for the culture operation. It ensures uniform distribution of inputs such as cow dung, poultry manure, lime, inorganic fertilizers and medicines using mechanical spraying. This is very effective for large ponds of more than 1 ha water area.

FRP Demand Fish Feeder

This product is made-up of FRP material. Fish fed by the demand feeder gained an average of 12.61% more weight than hand-fed fish. It is maintenance free and easy to operate. Use of FRP demand fish feeder can save the substantial cost of feed and manual hours for feeding.

Mobile Aeration Device

Mobile aeration device, run by diesel is useful for large aquaculture ponds to supplement natural sources of dissolved oxygen during culture period. The process of aeration is highly efficient since the dissolved oxygen level of the pond water is found almost double of the initial dissolved oxygen content in just 2 h. The equipment is simple to construct, easy to maintain and cost effective.

Post-Harvest Technology

Boneless whole carp technology has been developed, resulting in ready to use product. About 60-70% edible portion in table sized carps is retained. This is good fast food item for carry home packs. Similarly value added products, such as fillets, fingers, steaks and chunks are produced form murrels.


It is expected that the fish requirement by 2030 would be of the order of 18 million tones, of which at least 14 million tones would need to come from the inland sector and aquaculture is expected to provide over 12 million tones. Indian aquaculture has to come up with timely strategies to cope up with the future challenges of increased fish demand, selective consumers choices, production of safe and quality fish protein tapping he export earning, etc. These all have to be done in the face of increased land and water scarcity, competition from other agriculture sector, shortage of  labor and raw materials, besides satisfying he code of conducts for responsible aquaculture and HACCP in farming. Therefore, the researchers and development machineries in the freshwater sector have their task cut out to maintain pace of the aquaculture development at sound level and to ensure quality fish protein to the increasing populace of the country, which will be done as is being carried out in the last few decades


Source: Aqua Aquaria India

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