National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA)

National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA) was established by MPEDA in the year 2007 as an outreach organization for uplifting the livelihood of small-scale shrimp farmers. More than 90% of Indian shrimp farmers belong to small-scale or marginal category with operational holdings of less than two hectare per individual. Till recent years, each farmer’s production system was independent and unsynchronised with that of neighbouring farmers. They mostly adopted traditional methods for operating their farms and did not have access to technological innovations and scientific applications. NaCSA started grouping these farmers into societies and educated them on better management practices (BMP) for safe and sustainable shrimp farming. NaCSA also trained these farmer societies to follow cluster approach in shrimp farming. Cluster refers to interdependent aquaculture ponds often situated in a specified geographical locality and in close proximity to each other with the following characteristics:

  • sharing resources or infrastructure (e.g. water sources or effluent discharge system)
  • having the same production system
  • involving the same candidate species

The primary advantage of cluster approach to shrimp farming is that it enables participating farmers to organize the schedule of farm operations, quality seed procurement, simultaneous stocking, water exchange and harvesting regimes contributing to substantial reduction in cost of production and also prevention of vertical and intra cluster transmission of disease. The aqua societies ensure social and environmental responsibility, and food safety. The members are able to reduce the production cost through efficient use of resources, avoiding unwanted chemicals and antibacterial agents, and sharing of expenses for developing infrastructure such as deepening of canals, seed testing, transportation of inputs, lab, electricity etc.

Despite of all precautions, if an outbreak of disease occurs, the farmer immediately reports it to the aqua society. The society then convenes an emergency meeting and decides the course of action.

Till date, NaCSA has organised 948 societies in nine coastal states of India comprising 20343 farmers and a total culture area of 18494.9 hectares.

In this connection, NaCSA has registered 752 societies in nine coastal states of India comprising 18211 farmers and a total culture area of 16632 hectares. The government of Andhra Pradesh acquired land of 24 societies, for ports and other industries.

State wise societies Registered by NaCSA

S.No. State No.Of Societies TotalNo.Of Farmers TotalArea (Ha.) TotalWaterSpread Area (Ha.)
1 Andhra Pradesh 612 13982 12603.8 9548.3
2 Odisha 31 1051 782.6 592.9
3 Tamil Nadu 39 1204 2004.4 1518.5
4 Karnataka 21 402 386.4 292.7
5 West Bengal 45 1501 779.7 590.7
6 Kerala 2 41 46.2 35.0
7 Goa 1 10 11.9 9.0
8 Maharashtra 1 20 17.0 20.0
  Total 752 18211 16632.0 12607.1

Each society after being registered under State Registration Act, has to get MPEDA permanent registration so that NaCSA can facilitate MPEDA Financial Scheme benefits to them. All documentation with regards to MPEDA subsidy is being carried out by NaCSA. Apart from this, NaCSA provides round the clock technical support to the farmers and conducts various capacity building sessions. Regular meetings are conducted to make the farmers abreast of latest trends and developments in aquaculture, market trends and dangers of using banned antibiotics in culture operations.

The farmer in societies can sell his product according to his wish and bargain the better price with group approach. Shrimp harvesting is normally done after 120 days of culture when the shrimp have attained 20g -30g average body weight. In some cases, the culture period is extended to 130 – 150 days to get a bigger size. Society facilities access to institutional finance and insurance. It is a source for linking the farmers with processors and exporters for better market access and price. There are signs of increased confidence in shrimp farming through cluster approach, resulting in more and more farmers join to form societies and implementing BMPs.

NaCSA help its Society members to obtain licenses from the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA) and enrolling society farmers in MPEDA Farm enrolment by providing necessary documentation. It has close contacts with district and regional level associations and deputes its members to attend the meetings for promotion of shrimp culture. The society maintains good rapport with the local people and offers generous donations for festivals, schools and other charitable works. It interacts closely with the district administration and helps in procuring development schemes for the welfare of the local community.

Objectives of NaCSA:

NaCSA mainly functions as the prime mover of the extension activities among Aquaculture farmers. It organizes small scale farmers farming within same creek to societies and promotes them about better management practices to improve their production and profit. It conducts meetings on crop planning, technical updates apart from this it technical support to society and non-society farmers during culture for sustainable and better production.

  • Cluster approach for small and Marginal farmers to became Societies
  • To function as the prime mover of the extension activities among aquaculture farmers
  • To provide common infrastructure facilities like testing laboratories, culverts, electrification etc.,
  • To act as a federation of all the Aquaculture Societies and facilitate formulation of common policies, strategies, etc.,
  • To provide updated information to technical staff of Aquaculture Societies.
  • To act as a Central Agency for standardization of inputs in Aquaculture.
  • To develop social contacts and spirit of fellow feeling among its members.
  • To maintain a Library with good books, periodicals and newspapers.
  • To strive for the eradication of illiteracy.
  • To develop the social and cultural activities for the welfare of the society.

Way Forward:

  • NaCSA will be migrating from welfare Societies Act to Multi state Cooperative Societies Act
  • Acts as forward and backward linkages to the society farmers
  • E-commerce platform for selling the society produce
  • Facilitate access to institutional finance and insurance
  • Establishing of Aqua one centres (AOCs) to Society farmers
  • Establishing the Cross-over Bridges to cross the creeks for ease of transport to the society farmers in the farming areas.