Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL), the Greenport of Kerala has introduced aquaculture practices at CIAL Golf Club waterbodies. As part of the business diversification programmes adhering to sustainability and effective utilization of available land, CIAL opted fish farming in the water bodies. The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) in association with Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA) joined hands with CIAL for eco-friendly sustainable cage farming in the water bodies of the CIAL Golf club.
CIAL managing director S Suhas said that “Aquaculture offers many environmental benefits, relative to other forms of livestock farming. Over the last five years, the Aquaculture industry has reduced its carbon footprint through the gradual assimilation of new production systems; that have reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced the use of freshwater per unit produced, improved feed management practices, and adopted new farming practices”. . As sustainability Champions , CIAL strive for climate-friendly practices that generate sustainable environmental, social, and economic outcomes for the long term, Suhas added .
The CIAL Golf Club has 7 water bodies of varying sizes totalling almost 16 acres. Ponds in Golf Club are deep and big in size. Normal or conventional pond culture practices will not be suitable here. In cage fish farming, there is no need to drain the water bodies and management of the waterbody enivironment is flexible with multiple production units. Easy and low-cost harvesting are also added advantages. MPEDA and RGCA will provide testing for periodic disease diagnosis of fish and water quality analysis and seeds at a subsidized rate from their hatchery at Valarpaddom. The species recommended by MPEDA-RGCA for the pilot project are GIFT Tilapia, Seabass and Pearl spot.
With the introduction of the cage fish farming, the unutilized water bodies can be converted into a productive use generating additional income for the Golf club through a regular supply of prime quality fish. CIAL successfully executed the idea of Total sustainability management (TSM) in its golf course where treated water from the sewage treatment plant of the airport is used for water harvesting with the help of 12 artificial lakes.
CIAL’s experiment in photo voltaic agriculture farming; coupling organic vegitable cultivation in the solar fields became a huge success. The last year harvest was amounted 90 metric tones.