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Transfer of Production Technology to Nepal for Nile Tilapia,
Product Diversification Research 3 (10PDVR3)/Activity/Nepal and Thailand
Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand
Regional Agricultural Research Station, Tarahara, Nepal
The University of Michigan
James S. Diana
1) Select one broodstock group of Nile tilapia from AIT and carry out on-station production trials (fertilization only, fertilization and feeding) in Nepal (Year 1).
2) Introduce hapa-based sex-reversed tilapia seed production technique - On-station trial (Year 2).
3) Carry out farm growth trials of above stock (mixed-sex and sex-reversed) utilizing CRSP best management protocols and experience in southern and central Nepal (Year 2).
The CRSP studies have made significant contributions to determining the optimal fertilization regimes for warm and cool weather conditions (Brown et al., 2000; Veverica et al., 2001), feeding (Diana et al., 1996), production of monosex populations (Green and Teichert-Coddington, 1994; Gale et al., 1999; Phelps and Warrington, 2001) and polyculture with other species (Szyper and Hopkins, 1997). The tilapia production industry has benefited a great deal from these and other studies, particularly in Southeast Asia. Problem-based research studies at AIT in Thailand has played a critical role in providing technical and research support that has facilitated the industry to expand in many different areas.
Additionally, we have found that low-input tilapia production has especially benefited resource poor farmers in the Southeast Asia. Small-scale tilapia growers also tend to consume their own fish, thus increasing high-quality protein in household diets. Unfortunately, some of the poorest countries in Asia, including Nepal, have not received direct benefits of PD/A CRSP presence in Thailand. Although fish is highly desirable in Nepalese diet, per annual consumption is only 1 kg per person (Edwards, 1998). Nepal, one of the poorest nations suffers severe malnutrition problems especially among young children. Tilapia, lauded as a low input aquaculture species, has the potential to provide cheap protein in children's diet if the culture technology is developed to benefit small-scale farmers.
Lack of tilapia production in Nepal is partly due to previous government policy to not introduce exotic species that might have negative impact on the local biodiversity and indigenous species. Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus was first transported to Nepal in 1985 and held in various government research stations for research and development purposes (Pullin, 1986; Singh, 1995). The origins of these strains are unclear and further development work has not been done on tilapia culture. The government has now realized that there is an increasing interest among farmers to raise tilapia, which is indicated by import of seed from neighboring India. A number of farmers have stocked this species in their ponds and hapas. This uncontrolled and unchecked introduction of tilapia is seen as having a negative impact on small-scale farmers' livelihood because the fish they use to begin aquaculture systems are of poor quality. The Fisheries Research Division, Godawari of the National Agricultural Research Council (NARC) has been charged with the responsibility to develop a production package that includes importation of appropriate strains, seed production using modern techniques and grow-out technology that is suitable to low input conditions of southern and central Nepal.
PD/A CRSP at AIT has many years of research and experience in pond/hapa-based tilapia production, which could be reasonably adapted to sub-tropical conditions of Southern Nepal. This activity proposes to assist in transfer of PD/A CRSP developed technology on tilapia culture to Nepal through on-station trials with feeding and fertilizing, as well as production of sex-reversed and mixed-sex seed in hapas.
Successful introduction of tilapia culture techniques is expected to:
Location: NARC research facilities, Rampur, Nepal.
Seed Production Trials
A low-cost flow-through incubation tray system will be constructed to allow sufficient flow rate to keep fertilized eggs well oxygenated and moving (Little 1986). Hatched fry at three days after yolk sac absorption will be divided into two groups. One group will be fed with commercially available 17a-methyltestosterone coated diet and the other group will receive no hormone. Larvae will then be fed with 67% rice bran and 33% fish meal at 5% BWD up to 15 days and 4% up to 30 days. Both groups will be raised up to 120 days and sex ratios compared between these two treatments. Additionally, fecundity, fertilization rate, hatch rate, and survival rate data will be assessed.
Economic profitability will be compared between fertilized pond and fertilized + fed pond.
This initial activity is expected to lead to many problem-based and demand driven research in the region. Successful introduction and integration of tilapia culture may be used as a model for other poor countries with similar environmental conditions such as north India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.
Production trial: August 2001 to March 2002
Seed production trial: April 2002 to January 2003
Report submission: 15 March 2003
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Edwards, P., 1998. AIT mission to Nepal. AARM News Letter, 3(1):1517.
Gale, W.L., M.S. Fitzpatrick, M. Lucero, W.M. Contreras-Sánchez, and C.B. Schreck, 1999. Production of all male populations of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) Masculinization of tilapia by immersion in androgens. Aquaculture, 178:349357.
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Little, D.C., 1989. An evaluation of strategies for production of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, fry suitable for hormonal treatment. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Stirling, UK.
Phelps, R.P. and R.L. Warrington, 2001. Methods for the contribution for the male and female genome to sex inheritance. In: A. Gupta, K. McElwee, D. Burke, J. Burright, X. Cummings, and H. Egna (Editors), Eighteenth Annual Technical Report, Pond Dynamics/Aquaculture CRSP, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, pp. 3742.
Pullin, R.S.V., 1986. Aquaculture development in Nepal- Pointers for success. Naga, The ICLARM Quarterly, January 1986:910.
Shrestha, M.K. and R.C. Bhujel, 1999. A preliminary study on Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, polyculture with common carp, Cyprinus carpio, fed with duckweed, Spirodela, in Nepal.
Szyper J.P. and K. Hopkins, 1997. Carp/tilapia polyculture on acid-sulfate soils. In: D. Burke, B. Goetze, D. Clair, and H. Egna (Editors), Fourteenth Annual Technical Report. Pond Dynamics/Aquaculture CRSP, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, pp. 157160.
Veverica, K.L, J. Bowman, and T. Popma, 2001. Global Experiment: Optimization of nitrogen fertilization rate on freshwater tilapia production ponds. In: A. Gupta, K. McElwee, D. Burke, J. Burright, X. Cummings, and H. Egna (Editors), Eighteenth Annual Technical Report, Pond Dynamics/Aquaculture CRSP, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, pp. 1321.
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