Dr Valerie J. Smith 17.02.53 – 02.05.19

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In May 2019 the PaConDAA team were deeply saddened to learn of the untimely passing of our friend and colleague Dr Valerie Smith. Valerie had dedicated her career to comparative immunology and, in particular, creating an improved mechanistic understanding of the crustacean immune system.

Her early work on the crustacean prophenoloxidase enzyme system transformed the way in which invertebrate immune systems were viewed and precipitated a new wave of research in the field, much of which underpinned the approach taken by the PaConDAA team as we seek to develop mechanistic insights into host virus interactions in cultured crustaceans. Her contributions to our project and the wider field of research will persist long into the future.

Chingri shrimp app

The PaConDAA team are pleased to announce the launch of a new mobile phone app – the Chingri Shrimp App which can be downloaded from the GooglePlay store.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.vanami&hl=en_GB

Chingri app

This Bengali mobile phone app, which has been developed through the PaConDAA collaboration between ICAR-CIBA and Bangladesh Agricultural University, with the support of the University of Southampton allows farmers to directly access the latest Management Practice advice for shrimp farming, from pond preparation and maintenance of water quality, through to stocking and grow out and includes information on disease diagnosis and control. The app includes a pond calculator to assist with the addition of pond treatments and a free text query form so that farmers can post questions to CIBA scientists in India for direct answer.

This app has been based on the globally successful CIBA Vanami Shrimp App, which is also available from the GooglePlay Store.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vanami.shrimpapp&hl=en_GB

Vanami shrimp app

 

Farmer interaction workshops in Bangladesh

In April 2019 members of the PaConDAA team from the UK and India joined colleagues in Bangladesh to run sensitization workshops on Better Management Practices for carp and shrimp farming. The week of events started at Bangladesh Agricultural University in Mymensingh where approximately 40 farmers and other delegates from Mymensingh and Rajshahi received advice and updates on fish farming.

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After this first workshop the team travelled south to Khulna in southern Bangladesh where a second workshop was held with shrimp farmers, academics and students – again with the purpose of disseminating the latest best advice on shrimp farming. This second day was attended by approximately 80 delegates.

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During this second workshop the PaConDAA team presented the official launch of the PaConDAA-funded Chingri Shrimp App https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.vanami&hl=en_GB

Chingri app

This phone app is based on the highly successful CIBA Vanami Shrimp App https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vanami.shrimpapp&hl=en_GB .

Vanami shrimp app

 

Our Bengali mobile phone app, which can be downloaded from the GooglePlay store provides shrimp farmers with the latest advice and recommendations on shrimp culture to their mobile phones, pond-side.

It includes advice on pond preparation and water treatment, stocking density and the diagnosis of typical infectious diseases. It also provides a ‘pond calculator’ to support the management of pond conditions before and during grow out. The platform also provides a free-text query form in which farmers can post questions relating to their crop performance, questions that will be answered by CIBA scientists in India within 48 hours. Using this disruptive technology it is hoped that farmers in remote locations will benefit from the latest advice at the pond side to help improve their crop performance during grow out.

 

PaConDAA at BRAQCON 2019

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January 2019 saw UK team members join the PaConDAA team in India and Dr M.A. Salam from Bangladesh Agricultural University at the inaugural BRAQCON conference held at ICAR-CIBA in Chennai. This 4-day meeting started with a Farmer’s Conclave on the first day, during which we learnt from Indian fish and shrimp farmer’s who had proven success over many years of crop culture, many working in close collaboration with ICAR scientists throughout India. Thereafter, an international delegation of speakers reported variously on Aquaculture Production Systems, Reproduction and Larviculture, Quality Standards, Aquatic Animal Health, Genetics and Biotechnology, Environment and Climate Change, Biodinversity and Consevration, and Socioeconomic Issues.

Carp farmer training workshops in Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, UP

From 14th-20thDecember colleagues from the Universities of Southampton, Aberdeen, Liverpool and Bangladesh Agricultural University joined Drs Sood, Pradhan, and Dev from the National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR) to host a fish farming training workshop in Maharajganj. After an overnight train from Lucknow to Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh and then a two hour car journey on to Mahrajganr we met with ~ 100 shrimp farmers. At this workshop Prof Kenton Morgan presented his findings on disease outbreaks synthesised from a retrospective epidemiological survey of farmers within the district. Thereafter, Dr Pradhan provided information and guidance to local farmers and fishery officers on ‘better management practice’ for fish farming.

 

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