Kings Infra Venture, a technology-driven sustainable aquaculture company, has set a world record in the growth of pond-based aquaculture of L. Vannamei shrimps by harvesting shrimps weighing 80 gms (210 mm). L. Vannamei commonly known as the whiteleg shrimp are native to the eastern Pacific Ocean, from the Mexican state of Sonora to as far south as northern Peru. The maximum size which the species can grow in the natural ocean habitat at an age of 12-14 months as per the FAO, as well as other research organisations, is a maximum of 230 mm, with a maximum Carpice Length of 9 cm. To achieve similar growth in a pond-based aquaculture system in a period of 100-130 days is an incredible feat according to experts. The average size of harvested shrimps is 18-20 gm in the normal aqua farms. The record-breaking growth was achieved in normal earthen ponds by applying SISTA360 protocols developed by the research and development wing of the Kings Infra.
“The information available with us shows that there is no record of L. Vannamei shrimps weighing 80 gm per piece have been grown in an aquafarm anywhere in the world. The SISTA360 protocol farming practice, a proprietary system developed by our research and development team, has enabled us to achieve such a record,” said Shaji Baby John chairman and managing director Kings Infra.
“The average weight of the shrimps in our farm during this crop has been in the range of 30 to 50 gm but we were surprised to find certain shrimps have grown to 75-80 grams during the final harvesting,” he added.
“The credit for this belongs to the SISTA360 farming protocols developed by our research and development team,” Shaji Baby John said. “SISTA360 is an integrated system based on symbiotic technology using principles adopted from BIOFLOC, Aquamimicry, and IMTA methods of aquaculture and adapted to Indian conditions. The achievement gains further significance as the farm used only antibiotic-free feed, probiotics, and natural supplements, Ingredients such as curd, jaggery, turmeric, moringa leaves, garlic, tamarind, and other ingredients were used regularly under this protocol to improve immunity and disease resistance as well as improve growth rates,” he added.
“The successful harvesting is a milestone in our research and development efforts to develop an eco-friendly and economically sustainable aquaculture practice that could be replicated by small and marginal farmers,” said John. The success is noteworthy as our team had achieved the same in a 90-130 day harvest cycle despite facing several critical issues including adverse weather conditions.
Major spurt likely in Kings Infra topline growth
The successful harvesting of jumbo-sized shrimp is expected to bring a major positive impact on the top line and bottom line growth of Kings Infra in the next year. As against the average farm gate price of USD 5 per kg for farmed shrimp the present initiative would help in realising USD 15 per kg from the same pond. This will totally change the economics of Shrimp farming as these Jumbo Sized shrimps will be a rare delicacy in the International as well as domestic markets and can fetch a premium price by providing sustainability and traceability certifications.
“The success would go a long way in showing the importance of the new technology for doubling export earnings from fisheries sector to Rs 100,000 cr ($13.82 billion) as envisaged under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY),” John said. “The new technology would be a catalyst in doubling farmers’ income, another key objective of the government,” he added.
A listed company in BSE, Kings Infra has leveraged its rich experience and expertise and has entered into an agreement with NEC Japan to develop a Proof of Concept for Indoor Precision aquaculture utilising AI and IoT. The POC-2 is progressing satisfactorily and will be completed by mid-March.
The company also has a collaborative project with J Jayalalitha Fisheries University for developing an open pond-based RAS system and the first trial pond harvest has also been completed successfully with the shrimps have grown to reach 43 gms size in 110 days.
SISTA360 in all ponds
The company is adopting SISTA360 protocols in all the ponds under cultivation in the new crop starting from the end of January. The idea is to achieve the production of jumbo-sized shrimps on a consistent basis. A SISTA360 shrimp nursery and seed bank with 100 million seeds per year is nearing completion close to the project site. The completion of these projects would ensure an uninterrupted supply of juveniles and the company would be in a position to harvest three crops instead of two crops at present.
The increase in the number of crops would ensure that the topline would double in the next 12 months while the bottom line by 200%.
The company is in the final stage of completing plans for the national level rollout of the SISTA360 in a phased manner. “Initially, we plan to extend the technology in coastal Tamil Nadu to be followed by other regions in the country,” John said. The plan is to bring 10,000 aqua entrepreneurs under SISTA360 over the next five years. A new SPV Kings SISTA360 Private Ltd. has been formed as a subsidiary of Kings Infra Ventures Ltd. for the purpose. The new initiative is expected to create a sustainable and traceable supply chain of over USD 500 million in the next five years.
The Harvest Festival held in the farm cluster at Chippikkulam near Toothukudi has demonstrated the potential of the technology before a cross-section of industry leaders and experts.
A Shrimp Tasting event was held in Kochi on 14 January with a special session for select members of the Seafood Fraternity, Experts, and Media for tasting various dishes using SISTA360 shrimps.